We’ve talked about the fun drinks and social elements planned for August 4th and, while most of us know how spectacularly talented the Miró Quartet and Jorge Caballero are, I’d like to share a little bit about the amazing program they have in store for us.  (Want Tickets?  Click Here.)

On the first half we’ll hear a deep and lyrical Mozart String Quartet followed by a phenomenal virtuoso work for guitar, violin, viola and cello by Paganini.  The second half begins with Jorge playing a huge solo Bach Partita (my special request!), the program (before encores) closes with the great Quintet by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

Mozart’s String Quartet in E-Flat Major, K. 428 is in four glorious movements.  When I asked Daniel Ching (1st violinist of the quartet) about the piece, he told me it’s the first Mozart quartet they’ve played since Will Fedkenheuer joined the group as second violinist.  He said “it has a mysterious and searching quality to it, but it’s also very lyrical…” (watch the interview here).  There’s nothing in the world like Mozart played by strings – and this will showcase the Mirós perfectly.

The Paganini Viola Quartet No. 15, (MS 42), is in five movements and will feature tremendous virtuoso effects from both John Largess on viola and Jorge Caballero on guitar.  In our interview John was quick to point out that “people forget that Paganini played the guitar, and the violin, and the viola…”  Often considered the greatest virtuoso of all time, it will be phenomenal to hear a substantial Paganini work most of us are unfamiliar with, played by such a fabulous group of musicians.

The first time I heard Caballero play Bach was downright scary.  Like, I was worried I might have a health problem, it was so unbelievably exciting.  It was in the living room of Jeff and Gail Kodosky, I’d heard he was phenomenal, but nothing prepared me for the performance he gave that evening.  My heart was literally pounding in my chest so fervently that I wasn’t sure I’d make it!  So when he and I were discussing the program for August 4th, and there was a space to fill, possibly with some solo guitar, I jumped at the chance to ask him to consider including some Bach.  I’m absolutely thrilled that he chose the monumental Partita BWV 1013 in four movements.  Here’s a recording of one of our favorite artists, Ana Vidovic, playing the first two movements.  (Ana returns to Austin next April on our International Series, by the way!).  As a bonus feature, here is an informal live video of Caballero playing Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue.  Whoa.  He’ll tune casually for about 20 seconds, and then hold on to your hats…

And while I’m talking about my deep, deep admiration of Mr. Caballero, I’d like to mention that I’ve never heard anyone approach Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Quintet, Op. 143 with anything like the speed, power, precision, and control that Caballero has.  There’s a moment at the end of the last movement, which is rocking along, when the composer indicates “presto”.  In the last performance of the piece I heard Caballero give, he and the quartet shifted into a simply impossible gear that left us all breathless.

I look forward to sharing this program with you on August 4th in Austin’s fabulous Dell Hall at the Long Center.  Get tickets here.