Everything you hear influences the next thing you hear.If that’s true, as cellist Richard Belcher with the Enso Quartet believes, then there just might be something for everyone — even those who aren’t “chamber music people” — during the quartet’s concert Thursday at the University of Idaho auditorium.
The New York-based Enso Quartet is part of the University of Idaho’s Auditorium Chamber Music Series. Besides tonight’s concert, their weeklong residency includes mini-concerts in the community, as well as workshops and classes.
“They’re fairly young and they have a reputation as an unusually dynamic and passionate group as far as their playing style,” said Mary DuPree, co-director of the Auditorium Chamber Music Series.
“Any group reflects the personalities that make up the quartet,” said Belcher in response, during a phone interview from New York. “Our violinist sort of oozes character and it’s a very inspiring thing to help join in.”
The visual dynamic is in large part what draws people to live chamber music performances. DuPree described it as a “musical conversation” where the musicians interact and express by leaning in, swaying their shoulders and the like. The auditorium’s intimate setting will allow for those in all 420 seats to see what’s happening on stage, she said.
If the personalities make up part of the show, then the musical selection makes up another. Tonight the quartet will perform three pieces. The first is by Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera, which Belcher described as “a written-out form of Argentinian folk music, which is completely rooted in cowboys and guitars.”
Its rhythmic energy, he said, is hard to not get at least a little excited about.
The second piece contrasts the first with “beautiful, exquisite sounds” by a modern British composer, Thomas Adès. “Arcadiana” is “light, playful and otherworldly,” Belcher said, and references other composers and works of art, including quotes from Mozart, references to Schubert, and a tango right in the middle. After an intermission, the group will play a string quartet by Ludwig van Beethoven — “and that’s sort of the ultimate,” Belcher said.
But it’s the audience that makes the third essential component of a performance.
“There’s a collective energy an audience can bring that can be really fun,” Belcher said. The energy that can generate between the performers and audience are influenced by things like the venue, their proximity to the audience and previous connection to people in the audience.
Though this is their first time in Moscow, their residency gives them the chance to interact in the community. Before the concert, the group will have taught classes and performed for area students from grade school through university. In the days following, their residency includes additional mini-concerts and involvement with the Palouse Chamber Music Workshop on Saturday.
To seasoned chamber music fans, Belcher said their concert will deliver something different to the performance. And to those who are skeptics?
“Absolutely, give it a go because you can’t not like everything on that program. I just don’t see how that would be possible,” Belcher said.
If you go:
WHAT: Enso Quartet Concert
WHEN: 7:30 Thursday, Jan. 28
WHERE: University of Idaho auditorium in Moscow
COST: $10/students, $19/seniors, $22/general admission; tickets are available until noon today at BookPeople in Moscow or at the door
Thursday: 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Master classes with UI students in the university auditorium and Lionel Hampton School of Music, Room 116
Friday: noon-12:30 p.m. – Mini-concert at Gritman Medical Center, 3-3:45 p.m. Rug concert for children ages 3-8 at 1912 Center, 412 E. Third St., Moscow
Saturday: 4 p.m. – Final concert by Palouse Chamber Music Workshop participants at Haddock Hall, Lionel Hampton School of Music