Sounds & Sights

 

Antonín Dvořák: Cypresses
I. Já vím, že v sladké naději (I know that on my love to thee)

Live performance at Berkeley Chamber Performances (Berkeley, CA) on March 3, 2020.

Follow us on Youtube

 

Komitas Vartabed: Armenian Folk Songs

The music of Armenian priest Komitas has become an enduring symbol of home deeply treasured by the Armenian diaspora. At times joyously upbeat and at times melancholic, these folk songs were written before the genocide that scattered Armenians across the world. Unable to cope with the trauma, Komitas would later die in a psychiatric hospital in Paris. But for so many Armenians this music provided a connection to their homeland as they built new lives abroad; and for listeners they provide a window into the Armenian soul. Here we perform five Armenian folk songs, arranged for string quartet by Sergei Aslamazian.

Live performance at Noe Valley Chamber Music (San Francisco, CA) on March 1, 2020.

Follow us on Youtube

 

Lembit Beecher: Sophia’s Wide Awake Dreams

Written for string quartet, custom music box, and electronically-controlled sound sculptures Sophia’s Wide Awake Dreams (2017) was adapted from Lembit Beecher’s opera Sophia’s Forest. These two movements suggest the inner imaginative world of the protagonist, a 9-year old recent immigrant to the United States named Sophia. In the opera, Sophia confides in a music box that gradually comes alive in her mind, a mechanical creature both comforting and dangerous, who shields her from the outside world.

Recorded and produced by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio. Video by Four/Ten Media. From the Aizuri Quartet’s GRAMMY-nominated debut album Blueprinting (New Amsterdam Records, 2018).

Follow us on Youtube

 

Conlon Nancarrow: String Quartet No. 3

As the 2017-18 MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Aizuri Quartet curated their second program titled "Music & Isolation." Featuring music by Conlon Nancarrow, Haydn, Hildegard von Bingen, Carlo Gesualdo, and Beethoven, this program showcases the striking originality and uncompromising musical vision of these composers as they experienced various forms of isolation.

Nancarrow’s Third String Quartet was composed in 1987 and is in three movements:

A. Measure = 72
B. Measure = 50
C. Measure = 90

Live Performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Velez Blanco Galleries on December 1, 2017.

Follow us on Youtube

Songs & Echoes of Home: A Mini Concert

Experience the scope of our Songs & Echoes of Home program through this virtual performance, featuring music by Dvorak, Lembit Beecher, Sibelius and Komitas, as well as spoken introductions by the Aizuris. For detailed program notes, click here.

Follow us on Youtube

 

Lembit Beecher: These Memories May Be True
IV. Variations on a Somewhat Old Folk Song

Lembit Beecher’s These Memories May Be True (2012) is a series of musical poems on elements of Estonian culture that his grandmother passed down to him. A natural storyteller through music, Beecher writes: “This piece is a little like the scattered image of Estonia that I had while growing up, filtered through many layers of retelling, and touched by a sense of nostalgia, a sense of something beautiful that has been lost in the wash of time.”

Live performance at Berkeley Chamber Performances (Berkeley, CA) on March 3, 2020.

Follow us on Youtube

 

The M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition: Grand Prize Round

The Aizuri Quartet’s Grand Prize-winning performance at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition. 

Haydn Op. 20 No. 2 - Yevgeniy Sharlat RIPEFG - Beethoven String Quartet Op. 74 - Gesualdo (arr. Fortes) 'Io Parto' e non più dissi - Paul Wiancko LIFT

Live Performance at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, & Dance (Ann Arbor, MI) on May 6, 2018.

Follow us on Youtube

 

Hildegard von Bingen & Carlo Gesualdo: Selections

Columba aspexit by Hildegard von Bingen

O tenebroso giorno & 'Io Parto' e non più dissi by Carlo Gesualdo

All works arranged for the Aizuri Quartet by Alex Fortes

Live Performance at the Curtis Institute of Music's "Curtis Presents" (Philadelphia, PA) on December 9, 2017.

Follow us on Youtube

Jean Sibelius: String Quartet "Voces Intimae"
V. Allegro

Live performance at Berkeley Chamber Performances (Berkeley, CA) on March 3, 2020.

Follow us on Youtube

 

Gabriella Smith: Carrot Revolution

A fresh take on a traditional art form, Gabriella Smith’s Carrot Revolution (2015) is full of twists and surprises, reinventing the sounds a string quartet can produce.

Commissioned by Curtis on Tour and the Barnes Foundation. Recorded and produced by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio. Video by Four/Ten Media. From the Aizuri Quartet’s GRAMMY-nominated debut album Blueprinting (New Amsterdam Records, 2018).

Follow us on Youtube

 

Sofia Gubaidulina: String Quartet No. 4

As the 2017-18 MetLiveArts String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Aizuri Quartet curated their first program titled "Music & Mayhem," featuring works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Steve Reich, and Beethoven that were written during and in response to periods of political upheaval.

In Gubaidulina’s String Quartet No. 4 (1993) you will hear us performing alongside two pre-recorded layers of delicate and canonic ricochet lines. We recorded these layers using superball mallets rather than bows, and in the case of one layer, the quartet was tuned up a quarter tone.

Live Performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium on October 21, 2017.

Follow us on Youtube

 


Photos

All Photo Credits to Shervin Lainez