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A Digitally Delightful Treat



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Enjoy this extra treat by the renowned Orion Quartet to conclude the 2020 Chesapeake Chamber Music Virtual Festival. The Beethoven Quartet in E-flat Major for Strings, Opus 74, "Harp" was recorded live in Alice Tully Hall on February 16, 2016.

(Excerpts from an interview with Daniel Phillips conducted by Anna Snow)
The members of the Quartet, violinists Daniel and Todd Phillips, violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Timothy Eddy are season artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  They are especially drawn to Beethoven and recorded his complete string quartets over a five-year period.  During 2017-18, their 30th anniversary season as a quartet, they performed all these quartets over six evenings at the Mannes School of Music where they held the position of quartet-in-residence for 27 years.

Daniels Phillips notes, "We are completely exhausted when we play Beethoven.  His music is very demanding, physically, emotionally and spiritually. At the same time, he uses very simple notes, which everyone can understand to the greatest effect on the listener. It is brilliant. Beethoven famously said to musicians who complained how difficult his music was, that he gave them 'music from the Gods.' This is how we feel!"

The Orion Quartet is named after the Constellation Orion as a metaphor for the personality each musician brings to the group in its collective pursuit of the highest musical ideals. "We each want to play the way we want to play," Phillips muses. "To achieve a great sound requires good chemistry, and good ensemble skills; one must learn how to listen, know how much to lead and how much to follow. If you always follow, you will be late. If you always lead, the others don't have a chance to make their voice heard.  It is an ongoing interesting challenge to get the balance right. Ultimately, it is a very democratic process," he concludes.