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January 12, 2019 – Donald Sinta Quartet High Note

Dear friends,

Something completely different – chamber music with sax!

The Donald Sinta Quartet is a saxophone quartet playing classical music with an original, but deeply authentic sound, performing entirely from memory. They come to us fresh from winning the Gold Medal in the highly prestigious 2018 Fischoff Competition.

They have already performed around the world and have been praised as “…a tight-knit ensemble exploding with power and virtuosity” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). With music from nine (!) composers, we are guaranteed a rich and exciting concert of extraordinary variety.

Just read what the ensemble wrote about Samuel Barber’s famous Adagio for Strings:
“It achieved international renown following its 1938 premiere by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Since then the work has been featured in countless film and television programs and has become a staple of American classical music. The work actually began as the second movement of Barber’s String Quartet, Op.11 and has since been transcribed and arranged countless times, including by Barber himself for his 1967 choral work, Agnus Dei. The version heard this evening was completed by Dutch saxophonist and composer Johan van der Linden and effectively channels the intimacy of the original quartet, the overwhelming power of the string orchestra, and the purity and blend of the choral version.”

The major work of the evening is their arrangement of the complete String Quartet No. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich.  Here is what the Sinta Quartet wrote:

“Throughout his life, Dmitri Shostakovich contributed several great works to the chamber music genre including 15 string quartets. Even among these greatly celebrated works, the Eighth Quartet stands out as a true masterpiece of formal innovation, musical drama, and autobiographical melodicism. The work bears the dedication, ‘To the victims of fascism and war.’ This dedication and the sheer amount of self-quoting Shostakovich does with several melodies in the work leads some to say that he was thinking not only of the tragedy of WWII and the Holocaust but also of his own oppression under the Stalin regime. The primary motive of the work is in fact a musical depiction of four letters of the composer’s name – DSCH –  which in German musical notation represents the pitches D-Eb-C-C#. The work opens with this motive staggered in all four voices before quoting both his first and fifth symphonies. The second movement explodes into a fast dance with a Jewish musical theme that was also highly featured in his 2nd Piano Trio in E minor. This dramatic music transforms into a lighthearted danse macabre in the third movement, which again makes use of Jewish musical style this time in the form of a waltz. After a couple interruptions using a theme from his first cello concerto, this music fades down into one voice before, once again, being interrupted by the beginning of the fourth movement. The three harshly articulated notes found in this movement are thought to represent not only gunfire but also the hard knock at the door of the secret police as well as a secret signal from revolutionaries that they were nearby. A revolutionary song and a quote from Shostakovich’s own Lady Macbeth opera are heard before dissolving into the fifth and final movement. This closing music makes intricate use of the DSCH motive heard earlier before presenting a final version of this music at a huge dynamic, only to fade away much as the piece began, offering little comfort or resolution.”

Now CLICK HERE to be charmed by the Donald Sinta Quartet performing a work they will perform from their Saturday Virtuosi program called Tango Virtuoso (by Thierry Escaich)

Young Artist Program
Juliana MorozBorn into a musical family, Juliana Moroz began playing the cello at the age of three. She has studied with Andrea Bell and is currently studying with Yuri Hooker. After winning the Aikins Memorial Trophy in 2016, she gave a highly acclaimed performance of Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. In the fall of 2017, Juliana won the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra Scholarship competition and performed the complete Shostakovich Concerto with the orchestra the following February. Juliana is currently the Principal cellist for the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra. As an exceptional exception to the theme of No Strings Attached, Juliana will be opening Saturday’s concert with the prelude from J.S. Bach’s Suite No. 6 in D major.

On January 12th, enjoy the Donald Sinta Quartet – No Strings Attached, we promise!