Latin American Music Invades St. Paul's Church on Hill

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, presented the second in its series of “Five Fridays: Concerts for the Community” on Friday, Nov. 16. The featured ensemble was the Venezuelan-American Dali Quartet. The four string players performed a program drawn from the broad spectrum of the Latin American repertoire either composed specifically for or arranged for the classical string quartet, highlighting the close connection between popular styles and traditional structures in the music.

The Dali Quartet opened its program with the Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “String Quartet No. 1,” composed in 1915. Divided into six movements, the score is a beautifully concise compendium of moods and emotions expressed in expertly chiseled counterpoint.

The Dali players projected a consistency of tone and phrasing that nonetheless permitted each individual musician to delineate his/her individual personality through complementary contributions. The music pulsed with excitement.

The Spaniard Joaquin Turina’s “La Oracion del Torero” (The Bullfighter’s Prayer), composed in 1925, is more rhetorical in style than I would have expected, but then again a bullfighter may be offering up his very last prayer. The work was played with passion and precision. The program was then rounded out by three expert arrangements of popular Latin songs and one encore, all of which were played with stylistic conviction.

Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local
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