The title of the second program to be presented in the 2019–2020 season of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble (LCCE) is Air From Other Planets. That title comes from the beginning of a poem by Stefan George, originally written in German. The title of the poem is “Entrückung” (transport); and the opening line is “Ich fühle luft von anderem planeten” (I feel the air of another planet). Arnold Schoenberg incorporated this poem for the final movement of his Opus 10 (second) string quartet, along with another George poem, “Litany,” which is set in the third movement.
LCCE will perform this quartet next month, coupling it with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 465 quartet in C major, known as the “Dissonance” quartet by virtue of the ambiguous harmonic progressions in the opening measures. This coupling goes beyond the precept that one good dissonance deserves another. Anyone who has read a representative sample of Schoenberg’s essays knows that Mozart was one of his favorite composers, and Schoenberg offers any number of valuable insights to the attentive reader.
The program will also include world premiere performances of two commissioned pieces. “Movement for Viola and Guitar (Eye Contact)” was composed by Berkeley jazz guitarist John Schott explicitly for LCCE members Phyllis Kamrin (viola) and Michael Goldberg (guitar). The two of them are a married couple and have also performed for many years as the Alma Duo.
The second premiere work will be “Waving Goodbye,” composed by bassoonist Jamie Leigh Sampson. Somewhat in the spirit of the Schoenberg offering, “Waving Goodbye” is a string quartet with additional parts, one (again) for voice and the other for guitar. The vocalist for both of these “quartet++” compositions will be soprano Nikki Einfeld. In addition to Kamrin, the quartet members will be violinists Anna Presler and Liana Berube and cellist Tanya Tomkins.
The San Francisco performance of this program will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 4. The venue will be the Recital Hall of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, located at 50 Oak Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street and a short walk from the Van Ness Muni Station. Single tickets will be sold at the door for $35 for general admission and $18 for those under the age of 35. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a Tix Web page. There will also be a pre-concert talk beginning at 7:05 p.m. Mark Theodoropoulos will discuss the Schoenberg quartet.