on the Move
Alexander String Quartet, SFSU's ensemble in residence, has released
a new CD, "Renascence," a collection of Bartok, Ravel and Bach.
Like Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem of the same name (an Anglicized version
of "renaissance"), the selections reflect a process of rebirth.
The final track, for example, is a Bach fugue originally composed for
"Well-Tempered Clavier," but rearranged by Mozart for a string
The Alexander String Quartet formed in New York City in 1981 and four
years later became the first American quartet to win the London International
String Quartet Competition. In 1989, the quartet took up residency at
SFSU, where members direct the Morrison Chamber Music Center's instructional
program and, in cooperation with San Francisco Performances, teach and
perform at Bay Area schools. The busy musicians also teach chamber music
classes at SFSU and perform across the world.
How do they keep up? "We plan ahead carefully and try very hard not
to screw up," says cellist Sandy Wilson, who co-founded the group
with violist Paul Yarbrough. (Sandy is short for Alexander in Britain,
where Wilson grew up.)
Just a few weeks after the September release of "Renascence,"
the quartet was off to New York City to record a three-disc set
of Mozart's string quartets, for release in early 2004, stopping off for
performances in Illinois, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.
The Alexander String Quartet performs Jan. 24, Feb. 7 and March 13 at
San Francisco's Herbst Theater.
For more information: www.asq4.com