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Opening their program with one of Mendelssohn’s early quartets, the ensemble then travels to Italy. First, they bring to life one of Puccini’s rare chamber music gems: better known for his contributions to the Italian stage, Puccini wrote the elegiac Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) in response to the death of his friend, the Duke of Savoy. Then, Hugo Wolf, a composer famed for his song settings, creates an Italian melody for quartet in his exquisite Serenade. After the intermission, bassist Kurt Muroki joins the party for Dvořák’s String Quintet, dedicated “to my nation”.
String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 12
String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 77
Kurt Muroki, bass