Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Hampson, Jupiter String Quartet to premiere new piece by visiting composer

By
From page A11 | April 23, 2013 | Leave Comment

That’s the ticket

Who: Baritone Thomas Hampson and the Jupiter String Quartet

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.

Where: Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis

Tickets: $35-$72 general, $17.50-$36 students; www.mondaviarts.org, 530-754-2787

Prominent baritone Thomas Hampson will be joined by the Jupiter String Quartet at the Mondavi Center on Wednesday, April 24, for the premiere of “Aristotle,” a new piece by composer Mark Adamo, who will be on hand for the occasion. The program also will feature selected lieder for voice and string quartet (to be announced), Hugo Wolf’s “Italian Serenade” for string quartet (1887), and Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 10 in E Flat Major (D. 87, composed in 1813, around the time Schubert was 16, and published posthumously).

Hampson performed in Davis in October 2008,  appearing in recital in a program that featured several American songs — and also Hampson singing happy birthday to local resident Barbara Jackson, in recognition of her longtime support of the arts in general and opera in particular.

Hampson has had a busy calendar of late. Last April, he sang the title role in a Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi’s “Macbeth”; in August 2012, he starred in a Santa Fe production of Puccini’s “Tosca”; in November, he was at Chicago’s Lyric Opera in Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra”; and in March, he was back at the Met, appearing as Iago in Verdi’s “Otello.” In between, he gave concerts and master classes in various parts of the world.

The Jupiter String Quartet is a comparatively young group, having formed in 2001. The Jupiters have picked up several accolades in recent years — in 2008 they earned an Avery Fisher Career Grant and, in 2007, Chamber Music America awarded them the Cleveland Quartet Award. Before that, the Jupiters won first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, where they also received the Szekely Prize for best performance of a Beethoven quartet, and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

From 2007 to 2010, the quartet was in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two. The quartet has recorded works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Shostakovich and Britten for Marquis records. American works by Barber, Seeger and Gershwin also were recorded for iTunes in conjunction with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Deutsche Grammophon.

After performing “Aristotle” in Davis, Hampson and the Jupiter String Quartet will take the piece to the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall on April 26, and then to New York on April 28, as part of the Chamber Music at Lincoln Center series.

Composer Mark Adamo has been working on “Aristotle” for several months. The project was initiated by Hampson; Adamo told The Enterprise that “back around Christmas I got a message from my publisher that Hampson wanted me to write a piece for baritone and string quartet.”

“I all but leapt in the air” at the prospect, Adamo said. He has long admired Hampson’s singing. And Hampson apparently liked what he’d heard of Adamo’s music — including the operas “Little Women” (1998) and “Lysistrata” (2005). After some consideration, Adamo settled on the poem “Aristotle” by Billy Collins, who served as the nation’s poet laureate from 2001 to 2003, as his text.

“If you’re awarded the privilege of making music for a singing actor of the caliber of Thomas Hampson, and for young musicians of the caliber of the Jupiter String Quartet, you want — well, I wanted — to compose a piece that’s both a substantial monologue and a structurally rewarding string quartet at the same time,” Adamo said.

“Billy Collins’ pellucid poem ‘Aristotle’ made that possible. His poem is built in three long but continuous sections, each spinning numerous, surprising variations on some necessary (to the philosopher) element of drama — beginning, middle, end. The range of Collins’ images nudged the string writing into new (for me) colors and registers while demanding each movement retain its own character.

“However,” Adamo continued, “while Collins’ language was minutely expressive of his narrator’s observations, it remained reticent about his emotions. How does the singer experience, rather than merely list, ‘the letter A … the song of betrayal, salted with revenge… the hat on a peg, and, outside the cabin, falling leaves?’ The poem doesn’t tell you, so the vocal line must: which made the baritone’s music needful, urgent, dramatic rather than merely decorative.

” ‘Aristotle’ the poem is about drama. As well as a tribute to the artistry of its performers, I intend ‘Aristotle’ the score as a drama itself.”

Adamo indicated that “Aristotle” should run around 15 minutes in performance.

Adamo also has another big premiere coming up in June with the San Francisco Opera — his new opera “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene,” with Sasha Cooke, who sang a recital at the Mondavi Center in April 2009, in the title role. Adamo was commissioned by the San Francisco Opera in 2009 to create the opera, and finally finished work on the score late last year.

Adamo will be giving a free talk — discussing both “Aristotle” and “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene” — at 4 p.m. Monday in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center.

Then on Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m., there will be a pre-concert talk in the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall, with members of the Jupiter String Quartet in conversation professor Caroline Hess, a musicologist on the UCD faculty.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. April 24 concert featuring baritone Thomas Hampson and the Jupiter String Quartet are $35-$72 general, $17.50-$36 students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Davis wins USA Today Best Cycling Town honor

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Benefit set to help local bike legend

    By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Jury deliberates murder, elder-abuse charges

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    State’s health care sign-ups beat projections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    California residents divided on drought solution

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A2

    Three killed in attack on Ukrainian base

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Downtown post office set to reopen

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3

    Run or walk to prevent child abuse in Yolo County

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Nominations sought for charity paint giveaway

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Scholar will discuss human trafficking in Friday talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Per Capita Davis: Now, for some good news

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    Birch Lane hosts 50th anniversary party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Hannah Stein reads poetry at gallery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Food Co-op to offer free bags on Earth Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Get in the picture with school board candidate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    KDVS hosts on-air fundraiser April 21-27

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tickets on sale for Pence Garden Tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fundraiser planned for Allen’s campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

    Food Co-op board plans open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Downtown hosts candidate forum

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

    Learn more about Google Glass at talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Barbecue celebrates winter shelter program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Sign of things to come

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A8

     
    Davis Soroptimists celebrate 60 years

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Fancy meeting you here …

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Don’t miss a Trokanski dance

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Frank Bruni: The oldest hatred, forever young

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    Expert: Free parking is a myth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Have they really learned?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A great community effort

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Public Health Heroes honored

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Huge inning propels Pleasant Grove past DHS

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants edge Dodgers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Foster steps down as Lady Blue Devil basketball coach

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    River Cats’ streak reaches six wins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Landry evolves into UCD women’s lacrosse leader

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: Martinez, Chan come up big at gymnastics regional

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Kings drop season finale to Suns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Angels get past A’s in extras

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: Good deals off the beaten path

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

     
    Rockabilly phenom to play at The Palms

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    HellaCappella showcases a cappella singing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    ‘One’ singular sensation to open at DMTC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    25th annual state clay competition exhibit at The Artery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Tapan Munroe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, April 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6