Thursday Advent Concert
The Addison String Quartet, Emily Sunderman, Carol Harden, Joy Pile and Tom Dunne featuring a premier of a string quartet by a Middlebury’s own Jorge Martin called Lux Aeterna and Mozart String Quartet K421 in D minor.
Mozart String Quartet K 421 in D minor
Mozart’s 2nd quartet dedicated to Haydn, tragic and sublime, was supposedly completed in Vienna 1783 when Mozart’s wife Constanze was in labor with their first child Raimund. The work includes recurring exploration of nervous triplets, passages that nearly flip to D (happy) major from the melancholy and devout minor, and unconventional lengths of phrases. Haydn pays tribute back to Mozart in his Op 76 no 2 “Fifths” quartet in D Minor (1797) which opens with a similar phrase.
Jorge Martin Lux Aeterna
I first sketched Lux Aeterna in early 2014, while still grieving the loss of my beloved of 28 years, Joshua Sherman, as a way of working through those feelings. Originally I envisioned a piece for chorus, but it became a string quartet — aptly, since playing the violin in quartets was one of Joshua’s passions — and I have also created a version for string orchestra. After expressing the emotional responses of sadness, anger, and desolation, the movement ends in a kind of acceptance, a lullaby-like farewell to the parted one. The work sat in my drawer until in 2019 I decided to return to it, polish it a bit and give it a whirl, so I asked Emily Sunderman if she and her group would read it for me — which they kindly did, and then decided to play it for you today. Her father, Bill Sunderman, I would like to add, played viola with Joshua regularly in their informal quartet.
Celebrating fifteen years together, the Addison String Quartet includes violinists Emily Sunderman and Carol Harden, violist Joy Pile, and cellist Thomas Dunne. The quartet is proud to call themselves an ensemble of friends with a shared love for chamber music. We play together nearly every week sightreading from the unlimited quantity of music written for string quartet and occasionally rehearsing for performances. The quartet performs in many of Addison County’s most musical venues, including Saint Stephen’s, Unity Hall, Eastview, The Residence of Otter Creek, Project Independence, Middlebury College, and our living rooms.