Bedrich Smetana is said to be the “Father of Czech Music,” and his autobiographical Quartet No. 1, “From My Life” is considered one of his finest works.

Bohuslav Martinu is another Czech composer (1890-1959) on the program. Martinu closely followed Smetana, but in his Serenade No. 2 he added the influence of his mentor Stravinsky and jazz composers of the early 1900s.

Ludwig Beethoven’s involvement with Slavic music include his String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1, from the Middle Period, which was sponsored by the Russian Count Razumovsky. In this entire opus, Beethoven experimented with what Russian music could offer his evolving oeuvre.

Apparently one thing it could offer was difficulty for the performers. One violinist of the time complained of the impossibility of synchronized runs, mismatched intonations, and fast passages, to which Beethoven responded, “Do you think I care about your wretched instrument when the spirit moves me?”

When they are not on tour or collaborating with a festival, the WESQ group coaches chamber music at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Come and feel moved by the spirit and find yourself delighted by this youthful group’s take on some important classics.

Nordica Auditorium is in Merrill Hall, Main and Academy streets. Adults are $12 (under 18 and UMF students free). No advance ticket sales. For more information, call 207-779-7162 or visit www.artsinstitute.org.


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