03-08-19 | Songs for Listening | Lesley Robertson
Lesley Robertson, violist in the St. Lawrence String Quartet, made the playlist for Friday, March 8 at Songs for Listening. Lesley, a graduate of both Curtis and Juilliard, was a co-founder of SLQ in 1989. SLSQ recordings have received notable acclaim including Canada's Juno Award, Germany's Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and two GRAMMY nominations. In the words of Alex Ross at The New Yorker: “The St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection.”
A word further about Lesley:
The SLSQ have been a group nearly 30 years — Lesley and Geoff Nuttall are the only two original members still performing with the ensemble. This fact led me to consider the contrasting styles of those two (sitting across from each other day after day in performance and rehearsal) — Lesley: upright and a bit set apart from the ensemble and Geoff: unreserved and with pelvis thrust forward (so much so that it appears he risks falling out of his chair). This is not to say that either musician has a problem with full-blown musical expression or, for that matter, restraint; only that music for string quartet requires enormous dynamic range and these two very different personal styles might, perhaps, contribute to the quality of music-making and the character of this exceptional ensemble.
'Roamin' in the Gloamin' performed by Kenneth McKeller from 'Sleeps the Noon in the Deep Blue Sky'
'Quintet in F-sharp minor for Piano & Strings, Op. 67: II. Adagio espressivo' by Amy Beach, performed by the Escher String Quartet & Anne-Marie McDermott
'Lullaby & Doina' by Osvaldo Golijov, performed by Tara Helen O'Connor, Todd Palmer, Mark Dresser & St. Lawrence String Quartet
'Dark Pearl' by Stephen Prutsman (video from Performance Today)