The Lydian String Quartet

A Ravel Snapshot with the Lydian String Quartet

The Boston-based Lydian String Quartet has a new first violinist. Andrea Segar recently succeeded Daniel Stepner, who served as the Quartet’s first violinist for 29 years. Segar was a student of Donald Weilerstein (former first violinist of the Cleveland Quartet) at New England Conservatory, and Philip Setzer (a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet) and Soovin Kim at SUNY Stony Brook.

Last week, the Lydian Quartet posted this informal rehearsal clip featuring the first movement of Ravel’s String Quartet in F major. I offered a few thoughts about this remarkable piece, written in 1903 when Ravel was 28, in a previous post. This video will give you a great sense of the musical conversation between instruments which occurs throughout the piece. Also notice the range of colors which emerges in this music. I love the way each phrase unfolds into the next in this passage, as if we’re invited to step through a series of doors into increasingly beautiful rooms.

Violin enthusiasts might enjoy these two Daniel Stepner clips: a recent tutorial on scale fingerings and a performance featuring instruments owned by Mozart.

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