SYLVESTRIS String Quartet
Sylvestris Quartet "Brahms's Library"
Saturday June 8, 2019 at 8pm
First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, 72 Kensington Rd, 94960
Anna Washburn and Tyler Lewis, violins
Aaron Westman, viola
Gretchen Claassen, cello
San Francisco’s gut-string era Sylvestris Quartet presents "Brahms’s Library," an exploration of the amazingly diverse influences of the iconoclastic late-19th century composer Johannes Brahms. Brahms reached back into the late 16th and17th centuries for influence, so this program begins with the Venetian polychoral master composer Giovanni Gabrieli, and his student, Heinrich Schütz, who brought the style north to the German-speaking countries. Brahms also championed and studied extensively the influential French composer François Couperin, whose music he helped to resurrect and publish, as well as the great J.S. Bach. As a young composer, Brahms lived in the shadow of Ludwig van Beethoven, whose legacy Brahms was expected to continue. A careful composer, Brahms threw out more music than he published, and gave works unusual names in order to lower expectations. Some would say “neo-Baroque,” or backward-looking, others (like Arnold Schönberg) called him groundbreaking and forward-looking. Sylvestris calls him sublime, passionate, and original, and gives you the rare opportunity to explore this repertoire on gut strings.