The 1780's were breakthrough years for the string quartet. In 1781 and 1782 Joseph Haydn composed his six exquisite Opus 33 quartets and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began composition of ten celebrated ten quartets, dedicated to Haydn, that would redefine the string quartet genre.
Thus, it seemed appropriate to accompany John Adams in Amsterdam with a string quartet, the newest and most vibrant chamber music medium with which cultured Europeans would have been familiar in the 1780s. The score is predominantly lyrical, almost romantic, befitting John Adams' heartfelt affection for his Abigail, though at times the music is infused with an American folksiness reflecting his rustic and forthright nature.
Although we considered using a different orchestration to accompany Abigail in the Colonies, the string quartet medium worked so well for John that we decided to keep the same accompaniment for Abigail.
As Abigail was struggling to survive in the midst of an active conflict, her life was more fraught with drama than was John's life in Europe. Thus, for Abigail, the music has more contrast, ranging from militaristic rhythms to intensely personal lyricism.
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|COMPANY||TITLE||DATES||Chelsea Opera||A Distant Love: Songs of John and Abigail Adams||6/21/2015 - 6/21/2015||Chelsea Opera||A Distant Love: Songs of John and Abigail Adams||6/6/2013 - 6/15/2013||
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