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Live Review: Parker Quartet Breaks Out the Library of Congress’ Stradivari (2009.12.18)

studio0-900Every year, some lucky players get to borrow Ms. Gertrude Clarke Whittall’s Library present of three violins, a viola, and a cello from the unbeatable maker Antonio Stradivarius for the night. This year, the young New Englanders Parker String Quartet, with their rock-solid lyricism, won the prize. Best of all, the concert is always free.

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Takács, Muzsikás and Márta Sebestyén Quake Library of Congress Stage

Let me begin by admitting I’m in love with violinist Mihály Sipos. Add to that this testament: I’ll never marry unless all my friends and family pool together to pay Muzsikás the handsome fee to play at my fires of Hymen!

For, despite my mad adoration for the boys in Monument Trio, this Bela-Bartók-ian ho-down goes down as the Best Concert of 2008.

Béla Bartók, with his genius for creating pieces entirely novel in musical language, is sometimes labeled “challenging” or “difficult.” As in WARNING: NOT for the novitiate to the broader spectrum of “The Rest Is Noise” classical.

This concert stamped that notion underfoot in about .5 seconds. Read the rest…