A rush of clapping greeted the four graduate students who walked out onto the stage Wednesday night, Dec. 4, to perform in the Morrison Center. The four graduate students who comprise the Ezra String Quartet are comprised of: Jennifer Whittle and Alvin Tran on violin, Michael Sabatka on viola and Jacob Saunders on the cello.
A diverse audience showed up for the graduate recital. Three Boise women used the recital for a night out to enjoy some community culture. Before the recital, all three of the women expressed their expectations.
“I actually expect them to be pretty good,” Renata Bauer said.
Rose-Marie Bearden, who introduced Bauer to the event, had seen the Ezra String Quartet perform before. She expressed her hope this performance would be as good as what she heard before.
“I hope it is a replay of last time. They were really marvelous,” Bearden said.
Another member of the group of friends, Celeste Fox, said she enjoys attending Boise music events and was looking forward to the recital.
“I love string quartets. I’m sure they’ll be wonderful,” Fox said.
The Ezra String Quartet played work from composers Béla Bartók and Ludwig van Beethoven. The music of Bartók and Beethoven contrasted sharply with one another.
The first quartet which the students played was Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 (1928). The composition had a strident, bold sound. The music sounded almost sinister at times, and at other times sounded passionately chaotic.
The third movement was the most solemn and peaceful of the quartet. It began with a haunting cello solo with the violins and viola creating a background mood in unison.
In response to Bartók’s composition, Boise State senior Marve Griffith said it wasn’t what he was used to, but he thought the “level of skill” of the graduate students was impressive.
Griffith expressed his interest to hear the quartet play Beethoven. He thought he might enjoy that one a little more, explaining that Beethoven “wrote to please people.”
Griffith, who is studying hydrology, attended the recital to fulfill a requirement for his introductory music class. Yet, Griffith said he has attended these kinds of performances before for pleasure—not simply for class requirements.
Numerous other students such as Griffith attended the recital Wednesday night to fulfill requirements for their classes.
Freshman Kyle Begin said if it hadn’t been for the requirement in his introductory music class, he probably wouldn’t have known about the event.
The recital was Begin’s first time attending a string quartet performance.
“It was something new,” Begin said.
The composition played after intermission—Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2—sounded more lively and lighthearted than Bartók. Many members in the audience sat with their eyes glued to the stage, and even some closed their eyes, allowing the music to wash over them.
At the conclusion of the performance, the room filled with applause once again and many audience members showed their appreciation for the music by standing. The graduate students, with beaming smiles, took their bows and exited stage left.