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Season Sponsor


Concert Sponsor

Janet Dochnahl

2021 - 2022

Chamber Music Series

 FRIDAY May 13 7pm
May 15 2pm

Journey from the springtime of Mozart’s K155 to Pitombeira‘s jazzy, lyrical and playful use of the saxophone to Bartok’s quintessential quartet no.5: an otherworldly painting of night sounds and folk rhythms, taken to unprecedented heights of the string quartet.


Cassiopeia Books

606 Central Avenue


First Congregational Church 

2900 9th Ave S

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Jesse Dochnahl

Cascade Quartet


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1756 - 1791
Quartet No. 2 in D Major


Andante in A major

Molto Allegro

Mozart’s String Quartet No. 2 in D major was composed at the tender age of 16, while the young composer was based in Salzburg and traveling the European countryside, performing and absorbing the fashionable musical styles of the day. Though we often think of Mozart’s string quartet writing as being inspired by the work of the grandfather of the string quartet, Franz Joseph Haydn, this early piece is more like the Italian quartets popular at the time. The three movement style celebrates youthful exuberance, flowing themes and sparkling good humor.

1881 - 1945
String Quartet No. 5

Béla Bartók


Adagio molto



Allegro vivace

Bartok’s Fifth String Quartet was composed in a mere month, during the fall of 1934. As his penultimate string quartet, the work characterizes many elements of Bartok’s  mature style. The entire piece is in an arch form, a sectional style based on repetition in reverse order, so that the overall work is symmetrical around a central movement (ABCBA). The first movement is itself a smaller arch form, opening with banging rhythmic motives and  melodic materials that return in mirror image, backwards or inverted, later in the movement. 

The second movement is a prime example of Bartok’s Night Music style. Strange, haunting and nocturnal sounds emerge from the string quartet, evoking the hum of insects, or the rustling of a lonely field at night.

Here we encounter Bartok’s reverence for the music of nature, his curiosity for the sounds all around us. Similarly, the third movement is a Scherzo in the style of Bulgarian folk music, a complex, uneven, rhythmic tradition that had previously not found its way into many classical concert pieces. At the true center of our arch form is the Trio to this Scherzo, with the viola and cello calling out like searchlights in the darkness. 

After a fourth movement of intensified Night Music, the piece closes with an urgent, ferocious finale, spilling forward and suddenly abated by an out-of-whack carousel-like tune, introduced by the second violin. After this unexpected irony, the ferocity returns, and the work closes breathlessly, much like it began.

—Program notes by Megan Karls

b. 1962

Liduino Pitombeiro

Feast in the Tribe

The Moon

The Old Wizard's Dance

Liduina Pitombeira’s Xingu for string quartet and saxophone is a piece inspired by the indigenous people of Brazil who lived along the Xingu river, in the Amazon. The composer states that the central idea of the piece is the contrast between two elements: a rhythmic motive that represents the Xingu people, and a waltz motive that represents the Portuguese colonizers. 

The first movement, A Feast in the Tribe, features the rhythmic Xingu motive in the strings, giving way to the waltz, first introduced by the saxophone. The two motives dialogue, with an energetic conclusion of the Xingu music to close the movement. 

The composer describes the second movement as a meditation invoking the Xingu goddess Jacy, the goddess of the the moon. 

The final movement, the Old Wizard’s Dance, introduces a twelve-tone row to portray a wise shaman. This tone row is employed in cannon, against a brief return of the waltz, to build excitement as the Xingu motive from the first movement returns in triumphant conclusion of the work.