I took a journey that began in late 18th-century Austria, proceeded to mid-20th-century Russia, and concluded in early 20th-century France. Joseph Haydn, Dmitri Shostakovich, Maurice Ravel—they were the hosts. These folks, playing at the University of Chicago’s new Logan Arts Center, were the guides. If one day I learned that my life would be over at midnight, I’d be happy to spend the afternoon, after lunching at a Mexican restaurant (maybe Nuevo Leon on 18th Street), listening to a string quartet.
Pacifica Quartet, New York, 2009; Leo Janacek (1854-1928), String Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”), first movement