This month the Cypress String Quartet (violinists Cecily Ward and Tom Stone, violist Ethan Filner, and cellist Jennifer Kloetzel) will give the first of the three concerts for the 2013–2014 season of their Salon Series. As has already been mentioned, the theme for this season will be Slavic Soundscapes. The selections will feature not only specific Eastern European composers but also the works of composers inspired, in one way or another, by that region.
The one composer from the former category to be included in the first program will be Béla Bartok with a performance of his second string quartet. The remaining two selections will be by Ludwig van Beethoven with attention to the influence of Count Andrey Kirillovich Razumovsky. Razumovsky was a Russian diplomat, whom Beethoven came to know because his diplomatic duties led to his spending many years of his life in Vienna. He is best know as the dedicatee of the composer’s three Opus 59 string quartets, each of which had at least one theme based on Russian sources. The Cypress will perform the second of these quartets, in E minor, whose “Russian connection” is probably the most familiar to music-lovers, since Modest Mussorgsky used the same theme in the coronation scene of his opera Boris Godunov. A few years after publishing the Opus 59 quartets, Beethoven published the remaining work on the program, the Opus 74 (“Harp”) quartet in E-flat major. This was dedicated to the Bohemian Prince Joseph Franz Maximillian Lobkowicz, whose origins were Slavic in name, if not in spirit.
Because this is the beginning of the season, subscription tickets for the Salon Series are still on sale through an event page on the Brown Paper Tickets Web site. The price for the set of three concerts is $120, but there is a 10% discount for the purchase of a group of ten or more subscriptions. This season the venue will move to the Joe Henderson Lab, located at the SFJAZZ Center at 201 Franklin Street; and all performances will begin at 8 p.m. Single tickets will be available for $50 with a 20% discount for groups of ten or more attending the same concert. Tickets at both prices are available on a Brown Paper Tickets event page. The same Web page may also be used to purchase single tickets for the remaining two concerts in the series.