KAIA String Quartet
Naomi Culp, violin
Amanda Grimm, viola
Hope DeCelle, cello
July 13, 2021
Rush Hour Concerts
Robbie Ellis, pre-concert talk host
Miguel Bernal Jiménez – Cuarteto Virreinal (15′)
II. Zarabanda con variaciones
III. Minué – Trio
IV. Mosso e spigliato
Giacomo Puccini – I Crisantemi (6′)
Elbio Barilari – Tango Suite (18′)*world premiere
Astor Piazzolla; arr. Moreira – Escualo (4′)
The Quartet plays an active role in Chicago’s music scene where they are regular guests at the Chicago Latino Music Festival and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. In 2017, KAIA was the first ensemble in residence at Chicago’s classical radio station, WFMT. During this residency they explored the world of Latin classical music with audiences through daily radio segments, performances and broadcasts around the city and the production of KAIA Kids, a series of children’s education videos.
KAIA is deeply devoted to music education. From 2013-2017, the quartet traveled to Tijuana, Mexico to present and perform in schools through the sponsorship of the Mainly Mozart Festival. They are teaching artists for Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play program and for the International Music Foundation’s Live Music Now program. KAIA is currently in residence at DePaul University’s Community Music Division.
Miguel Bernal Jiménez (1910-1956)
Cuarteto Virreinal (1937) (15′)
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
I Crisantemi (1890) (6′)
Elbio Barilari (b. 1953)
Tango Suite (2021) (18′)*world premiere
The “Tango Suite” is a celebration of the tango composers from Uruguay: Raúl Jaurena, Jaurés Lamarque Pons, Matos Rodríguez, Pintín Castellanos, el Potrillo Zagnoli, Luis Pasquet, Manolo Guardia & Luis Di Matteo, as well as my Argentine mentors Astor Piazzolla & Horacio Salgán.
Tango is the music of two towns, Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the twin capitals of Argentina and Uruguay, united by the Rio de la Plata. Since the 1920’s Argentine as well as Uruguayan composers have been using tango as a source for “classical” music for piano, chamber ensembles and orchestras. While composing this piece I focused on some of the composers from my country of birth, Uruguay. Without using any quotations from their music, I just let my imagination get immersed in the musical gestures and sonic landscapes they created throughout so many years. Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Salgán were Argentine tango musicians I knew very well. They encouraged me and they were also a welcome source of inspiration.
The titles of each of the four movements are in “lunfardo”, our urban tango slang. “Afile” means courtship. “Metejón” means passion, or even infatuation. “Viaraza” means to get mad, or angry. “Espiante” means to go away, or to be sent away… depending on the circumstances. We can imagine this for movements as the portrait of a relationship. I still may compose a 5th movement entitled “Reconciliation”… what do you think? Should I?
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992);
arr. Gerardo Moreira
Escualo (1978) (4′)
Astor Piazzolla was an Argentinian composer, arranger and bandoneon player, who is credited for revolutionizing the tango by entwining jazz and classical music elements to create the new genre termed Nuevo Tango. Escualo, meaning Shark or dogfish, was composed in 1978, was the title track of that album, all of the pieces on it having one thing in common, all being inspired by his favorite hobby of shark-fishing. Originally composed for violin and piano, this work is considered one of his most rhythmically challenging and notoriously difficult for violinists. Here we have it arranged expertly for the string quartet by Gerardo Moreira.
Program Notes by Ashley Ertz
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The Rush Hour Concerts series is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Rush Hour Concerts are produced in partnership with St. James Cathedral and WFMT.
Don’t miss the music by Caroline Shaw and Johannes Brahms next week on
Rush Hour Concerts!
Tuesday July 20, 5:45pm