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Classical 101

Miro Quartet In-Studio Performance and Interview

In a recent performance with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, the Miró Quartet played two works which, while sounding completely different, had striking similarities. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams and How Wild the Sea (for String Quartet and Chamber Orchestra) by American composer Kevin Puts were on the program, along with Felix Mendelssohn's 3rd Symphony, also know as the Scottish Symphony. How Wild the Sea was composer Kevin Puts' reaction to photos and video he saw of the tsunami which hit Japan in 2011.  He described the piece this way. "In the case of How Wild the Sea, I was compelled by news footage of an elderly Japanese man sitting helpless on the rooftop of his house as it is carried away by the powerful tsunami tide of 2011. His wife had been swept under, minutes before. I was reminded of the earthquake of 1995 that destroyed much of Kobe, a city I visited in 1997 for the Japanese premiere of my Marimba Concerto. The efficiency and speed at which the city had been rebuilt was remarkable." How Wild the Sea is an emotional roller coaster, which carries you through the horrific events of that disaster, then brings you to the other side and leaves with rays of hope as the country and people begin to rebuild the structures and their lives. You can hear the Miro Quartet perform the work with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra here. Where How Wild the Sea tosses you about like a cork in the sea, the Vaughan Williams is more like glassy, smooth waters and a gentle breeze.  Both embed the quartet with the orchestra with decidedly different results.  In the conversation segments on this page, I spoke with the Miro Quartet about both pieces.  They also play two selections...one by Haydn and one by Brahms. If you have never experienced a performance by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, you have another opportunity coming soon.  Igudesman & Joo is a duo comprising classical musicians Aleksey Igudesman and Richard Hyung-ki Joo.  They combine comedy with classical music and popular culture in a way that must be seen to be believed.  They are hilarious AND talented.  They perform one show with ProMusica at their gala concert Friday, February 13th at the Southern Theatre.  Catch a little sample below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jiu0RNizU8