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String Quartet Will Perform Mozart, Dvorak, Bartok

The Spokane String Quartet continues its 17th season with a program of Mozart, Dvorak and Bartok.

Joining the usual musicians - Kelly Farris, Jane Ayer Blegen, Tracy Dunlop and John Marshall - will be their colleague from the Spokane Symphony, bassist Roma Vayspapir.

The SSQ will open with the final Quartet of Mozart, K. 590 in F major. This work was written in 1790, the last year of his life, as Mozart was facing financial hardship and failing health, but it reflects none of that stress.

It belies Mozart’s condition by exuding happiness and simplicity, without a care in the world. K. 590 is one of the three “Prussian” quartets, dedicated to Frederick Wilhelm II, who was King of Prussia and not a bad cellist on the side.

Bela Bartok imbued many of his works with influences from the Hungarian and Romanian folk music he researched with Kodaly. His Quartet No. 4, from 1928, abounds with such influences.

This was the first piece in which he called for the “Bartok pizzicato,” and it uses many interesting string techniques to achieve unusual effects.

Bartok also experimented frequently with form, using a palindromic layout for many of his famous compositions, including “Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste.” The Fourth Quartet is palindromic, consisting of five movements that audibly reflect upon each other.

The first movement correlates to the fifth, the second to the fourth, and the third movement is in an ABA form.

All this technical stuff aside, Bartok is still great stuff to just sit back and listen to, and who cares whether he used a slide rule to write it.

The final work on the program is by another composer, and it makes you want to sing and dance along.

Antonin Dvorak’s folk influences are Czech, and in 1875, at the time he penned his Quintet in G major, Op. 77, he was working on creating a Czech nationalistic style different from the German mainstream.

The quintet combines folk dance rhythms and Dvorak’s soaring melodic sense to create a delightful piece. The addition of Vayspapir makes for two violins, a viola, a cello and bass, comprising the string quintet.

David Jones of Eastern Washington University will give a preconcert talk at 7:15 p.m. xxxx THE SPOKANE STRING QUARTET WITH BASSIST ROMA VAYSPAPIR Location and time: The Met, Tuesday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $12, $10 for students and seniors, available at The Met, Hoffman Music, Street Music and at G&B; outlets