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The St. Lawrence String Quartet Sheds New Light on Two Great Standards

11-16-2014 by Laura McDowell of the Classical Voice of North Carolina

The third concert of the Asheville Chamber Music Series at the city’s Unitarian Universalist Church was unlike any chamber music program I’ve heard. Clearly on an educational mission, the St. Lawrence String Quartet programmed only two works, Haydn’s String Quartet in C, Op. 76, No. 3 (“Emperor”) and Beethoven’s String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131. Instead of playing more music to fill up the concert’s first half, a full half hour was devoted to a “Haydn Discovery Hour,” a lecture/demonstration before the performance of the musical elements Haydn manipulated in this justly famous work. First violinist and spokesman extraordinaire Geoff Nuttall led the audience through an animated exercise in…

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