Event Description


Arvo Pärt connects the dots between Classical and Romantic in this exceptional program featuring five Symphony Principals! We open with what many consider one of the finest in the string quintet repertoire, Mozart’s remarkable 515—among the very greatest of his chamber music masterpieces. Then, transporting us to another realm is Pärt’s enigmatic Summa for String Quartet, originally written for a cappella voices. And recognized as the nineteenth-century’s “Second Mozart,” rounding out the afternoon is Mendelssohn’s magically passionate String Quintet No 2.



Quintet for Strings in C Major, K. 515


Summa, for String Quartet


String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, op.87

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Concert Notes

Quintet for Strings in C Major, K. 515
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna

Mozart’s C major Viola Quintet is among the very greatest of his chamber music masterpieces. The possibilities of adding one extra voice to a string quartet clearly interested the composer in his late years, perhaps because of the increase in contrapuntal opportunity, perhaps because Mozart himself played the viola; in any case, he wrote four major works for viola quintet during this period, and established the genre for posterity. The C major Quintet was composed in the spring of 1787, along with its counterpart, the darkly tragic G minor Quintet; it shows the composer at the height of his mature period, able to call into being music whose smooth surface masks the depth of invention and complexity lying beneath.

Summa, for String Quartet
Born September 11, 1935, Estonia

Pärt wrote the first version of this work in 1978, but scored it for four vocalists using the Credo from the mass for its text. Twelve years later, he arranged the piece for string orchestra, giving the work a quite different dimension while retaining its lively, Baroque-like spirit. While much of Pärt’s post-serial output has an early music character—chant-like serenity, medieval rawness in some of his orchestral scoring, and simplicity of design and form—this piece exhibits not only a Baroque sound, but a joyous, almost nonchalant manner not frequently heard in the compositions of Pärt.

String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, op.87

Born February 3, 1809, Hamburg
Died November 4, 1847, Leipzig

Mendelssohn’s second viola quintet dates from last years of his composing career. By this point he had written all of his chamber music save the final string quartet, Op. 80, and a few isolated quartet movements that were since bundled and published in s a composite set as Op. 81. Within two years, Mendelssohn would be dead and this final quintet would remain unpublished due to his feeling that the work was somehow not finished. Mendelssohn wrote his first quintet some twenty years earlier when he was seventeen. And although the precocious Mendelssohn was already a master by the standards of lesser mortals, it is the second quintet that lasts in the repertoire as the mature masterwork, the next historical landmark for the viola quintet after Mozart. (Beethoven wrote a viola quintet in 1801 called “The Storm” but it is not included in the traditional canon).

& Musicians


David Felberg

Principal Violin II

Nicolle Maniaci

Principal Viola

Kimberly Fredenburgh

Principal Conductor

Guillermo Figueroa

Principal Cello

Dana E. Winograd