When I gaze at a sunset sky and spend hours contemplating its marvelous ever-changing beauty, an extraordinary emotion overwhelms me. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul. Around me are the trees stretching up their branches to the skies, the perfumed flowers gladdening the meadow, the gentle grass-carpeted earth, … and my hands unconsciously assume an attitude of adoration. … To feel the supreme and moving beauty of the spectacle to which Nature invites her ephemeral guests! – Claude Debussy
To mark the start of their three-year residency at the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Heifetz Institute, the members of the Borromeo Quartet made their concert debut with Debussy – specifically, his one and only String Quartet. Dating from 1893, it’s a piece that’s been called “audaciously ultra-modern quartet with startlingly beautiful effects in lieu of sheer tactics.”
The Debussy quote, read by the Borromeo’s first violinist Nicholas Kitchen at the group’s very first Francis Auditorium performance, sets the stage for what many people hear as the sound of summertime in the French countryside in Debussy’s dreamy quartet. Though history tells us the piece actually premiered in the bleak midwinter, on Dec. 29, 1893, at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
So in that spirit, we offer you Debussy’s utterly original quartet as our first Video of the Week for the brand-new year. Enjoy this complete Celebrity Series on the Heifetz main stage by violinists Kitchen and Kristopher Tong; violist Mai Motobuchi, and cellist Yeesun Kim.
Remember, if you enjoy our Video of the Week feature, you can check out the entire series here – and subscribe to get them in your inbox every week!