Sunday's Opelika-Auburn News included this article by Ed Enoch about the upcoming performance by the American Chamber Players (website). The group's founder and violist Miles Hoffman is Associate Professor of Viola at Converse College. He is probably better known as music commentator for National Public Radio. Here's a story he did on Franz Liszt's 200th birthday back in October 2011. Read Enoch's article for some descriptive quotes from Hoffman about the program. What's most appealing to me is the story behind the composer Guillaume Lekeu and his piano quartet.
Lekeu died in the winter of 1894 in Angers, France, a few days after his twenty-fourth birthday. According to a few non-scholarly articles on the internet that happen to agree with each other, he is most famous for a violin sonata and is heralded as a composer on par with César Franck, his teacher in Paris who was also from Belgium. Lekeu died before completing his piano quartet, which is what we call a piece written for a trio of strings paired with a piano. His teacher after Franck, Vincent d'Indy, finished the piece and the American Chamber Players will perform it Wednesday night.
In the article, Hoffman describes the second movement of the Lekeu as, "one of the most gorgeous things in the universe."
The rest of the program is mentioned in the OA-News article linked above as are ticket prices. This is the second concert in the 2011-12 series presented by the Auburn Chamber Music Society. Here's the Society's website (alert: music auto-load).
Performers will be members of a standard string quartet with a pianist and flutist. Instrumentation will change, piece by piece. Below are some accolades lifted directly from the Players' website.
“An extraordinarily talented group who play beautifully together… They have established standards of chamber music performance equal to any in the world.” - The Washington Post“They appealed to the heart and the head, offering a warm, seductively luxurious sound and an impressive precision and unity of purpose.” - The New York Times“One of the finest chamber ensembles in the country… markedly superior, especially in beauty of tone, near flawless intonation, and sensitivity to each other’s playing.” - The Los Alamos Monitor“What sets the American Chamber Players apart are its members’ total commitment to the music, an admirable sense of purpose with goals commonly shared, and programs as intriguing in conception as in execution.” - The Montgomery Advertiser“In a display of first-class ensemble playing… the American Chamber Players took the audience on a voyage of discovery through some of the byways of the modern and Romantic repertory.” - The Calgary Herald