Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ébène Quartet to Return to SFP with New Violist

The members of the Ébène Quartet (courtesy of San Francisco Performances)

Unless I am mistaken, the Ébène Quartet is the first ensemble to have performed in two different Series offered by San Francisco Performances (SFP). As a string quartet they have performed twice in the Shenson Chamber Series, but they also have appeared in the Jazz Series. When they return to SFP next month, their performance will be the third concert scheduled for this season’s Shenson Chamber Series, and there will be one change in personnel. Three of the founding members, violinists Pierre Colombet and Gabriel Le Magadure and cellist Raphaël Merlin, are still part of the ensemble. However, last year Marie Chilemme joined to become the group’s third violist.

Readers may recall that this past Monday the Danish String Quartet introduced itself to San Francisco with, among other compositions, a highly perceptive account of the first of Ludwig van Beethoven’s three Opus 59 (“Razumovsky”) quartets, written in the key of F major. Ébène will follow suit, so to speak, by performing the second (in E minor) of the Opus 59 quartets, once again accounting for the second half of their program. The program will begin with Beethoven’s best known teacher, Joseph Haydn. The selection will be Hoboken III/76, the second of the six quartets published as Opus 76 and written for József Erdődy. This quartet has two nicknames, the more familiar being “Fifths” but also known as “The Donkey.” The Haydn selection will be followed by Gabriel Fauré’s Opus 121 quartet in E minor, completed within months of his death of November 4, 1924 and very much a reflection of the nineteenth-century traditions of his past.

This concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9. As with all Shenson Chamber Series concerts, the venue will be Herbst Theatre. The entrance to Herbst is the the main entrance to the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue, located on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. The venue is excellent for public transportation, since that corner has Muni bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel. Ticket prices are $65 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $55 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $40 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.

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