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String Quartet Ethel to play Morricone movie music

The string quartet Ethel
The string quartet Ethel
James Ewing

Ethel, the edgy contemporary classical string quartet often heard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will present a diverse series of works free at Trinity Church Thursday afternoon March 13 at 1 p.m. under the title “Grace.”

With a program dedicated to a journey of redemption through music, the concert’s centerpiece is Ethel’s adaptation of Ennio Morricone’s Golden Globe-winning score to the 1986 film The Mission. Also on the bill are Ethel’s versions of pieces honoring the 20th anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s only completed studio album Grace, plus works by Mary Ellen Childs, Vijay Iyer, Nico Muhly and others.

The film dealt with cross-cultural complexities fueled by the quest for redemption against the backdrop of the jungles of South America. As Ethel violist Ralph Farris said: “"The concept of grace is a loosely binding element that is expressed in the various pieces in really different ways. There’s one piece in the meter of 13 by Vijay Iyer. Grace is what Vijay expresses in composing this piece that just flows so beautifully,” even though "13 is a crazy-hard meter to count.”

Based in New York, Ethel is among the leading ensembles on the contemporary music scene. Besides Farris, its members are Dorothy Lawson, cello; Kip Jones, violin; and Tema Watstein, violin.

The venue, Trinity Wall Street, 74 Trinity Place in lower Manhattan, the home of Concerts at One, is located at Broadway and Wall Street. Admission is free and seats are unreserved.