Chromatic Clusters

“With minimal vibrato and malleable tone, Ms. Clark showed an astonishing range of expressive subtlety, carrying the listener rapt.” —New York Times

Galax Quartet With Karen Clark, Contralto
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; David Wilson, baroque violin/viola; David Morris, baroque cello; Karen Clark, contralto

SFEMS fully embraces its season theme —The New Music—Glorious, Impassioned, Outrageous— in a genre-bending program to engage new and early music aGQ98_KC_72udiences alike! Galax Quartet and Karen Clark embark on a Galactic journey—as only they could—from the earliest avant-garde of four centuries ago to music newly written for ancient instruments.

From the end of the Renaissance, Clark and Galax will perform the swirling, mystical Prophetiae Sibyllarum of Orlando di Lasso (1530–1594) and the emotionally wrenching Beltà poi che t’assenti of Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613), music far ahead of the time in its radical and evocative harmonies—music which in fact inspired Stravinsky.

The concert also offers premieres of two works recently written for the quartet. Galex will perform the World premiere of On the Petaluma River by Roy Whelden, who is recognized as a major figure in the composition of new music for historical instruments. The program concludes with the West Coast Premiere of Dream Drapery: “Thoreau Songs” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner. The much-honored Schwantner is known for a uniquely dramatic style and is one of the most prominent American composers today.  View the program

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Friday, Jan. 31, 8:00 p.m. | First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto
Saturday, Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. |St. John’s Presbyterian, Berkeley
Sunday, Feb. 2, 4:00 p.m. | St. Mark’s Lutheran, San Francisco