Last season the Cypress String Quartet (violinists Cecily Ward and Tom Stone, violist Ethan Filner, and cellist Jennifer Kloetzel) celebrated their fifteenth anniversary with a series of three Salon Series concerts, programmed to review the repertoire they had accumulated over the years. This season will have another Salon Series, this time with a more specific theme. The title of the series is Sturm und Drang (whose literal translation is “storm and drive”), with an emphasis on (but not restricted to) examples of intense expression of feeling from the nineteenth century; and each program will include selections from Cypresses, Antonín Dvořák’s string quartet arrangements of twelve of the songs from his vocal collection of the same name, from which the ensemble takes its name. In San Francisco there will be three concerts on Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. Program details for each of the dates are as follows:
- November 17: This program will feature one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most intense quartets, his K. 421 in D minor. This will be coupled with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 95 (“Serioso”) quartet in F minor, the last of his “Middle Period” quartets. The context will be further extended with the most tumultuous of the Dvořák arrangements.
- January 26: This concert will present two of Franz Schubert’s most expressive compositions, his intense single-movement “Quartettsatz” in C minor (D. 703) and the passionate D. 956 string quintet, one of the many masterpieces of Schubert’s prolific final year. For the performance of D. 956 the Cypress will be joined by cellist Gary Hoffman. The program will also include the third string quartet by Philippe Hersant, commissioned for last season’s Call & Response program. The Dvořák selections will be the most lyrical of the Cypresses arrangements.
- May 11: The final set of selections from Cypresses will focus on Dvořák’s exploration of unconventional structural forms. That break with convention will be complemented by Mozart’s venture into dissonance at the beginning of his K. 465 quartet (which then settles comfortably into C major). Beethoven’s own adventurous spirit will then be represented by the first of his three quartets commissioned by Count Andreas Razumovsky, Opus 59, Number 1 in F major, the first of his “Middle Period” quartets. The program will conclude with the 2006 Call & Response commission, George Tsontakis’ fifth quartet.
Subscription tickets for the Salon Series are now on sale through an event page on the City Box Office Web site. The price for the set of three concerts is $120. This season the venue will be Gallery Wendi Norris, located in SOMA at 161 Jessie Street between Third and New Montgomery Streets and between Market and Mission Streets. Single tickets are also available for $50. Further information may be obtained from City Box Office at 415-392-4400.