DELGANI STRING QUARTET COLLABORATES WITH ORATOR RICKIE BIRRAN IN SPECIAL PERFORMANCE OF LITERATURE AND MUSIC ENTITLED “MURDER AND MADNESS”

The Delgani String Quartet:
Jannie Wei and Wyatt True, violins; Kimberlee Uwate, viola; Eric Alterman, cello; Rickie Birran, orator
Friday, April 20 at 7:30 pm
Colonial Heights Presbyterian, 2828 SE Stephens St, Portland, OR 97214
Tickets $25; Students $10 delgani.org or 541.579.5882

On April 20, the Delgani String Quartet will collaborate with Rickie Birran from Man of Words Theatre Company for a special performance of literature and music. “Murder and Madness” explores insanity and crimes of passion in celebrated texts by Edgar Allan Poe, Leo Tolstoy, and Mary Shelley.

The narrator in Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart will try to persuade you of his sanity while Delgani premieres Paul Safar’s composition by the same name. Abridged monologues from Shelley’s Frankenstein will be accompanied by passages from
Dmitri Shostakovich’s eighth string quartet. Excerpts from Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata will shed light on the musical gestures in Leoš Janáček’s first string quartet, the highlight of the evening.

Subtitled Kreutzer Sonata , Janáček’s first string quartet (1923) was inspired by Tolstoy’s novella (1889). The novella itself is titled The Kreutzer Sonata because it references Beethoven’s ninth violin sonata which the composer dedicated to violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer. In Tolstoy’s text, the sonata is performed by the narrator’s wife (a pianist) and her violinist companion. Their relationship drives the narrator to the point of insanity and he murders his wife. Our performance will illustrate the connection between Janáček’s quartet and the novella that inspired it.