Each year, an audition committee of professional musicians selects a few exceptional students ensembles to represent the NEC Honors Ensemble Program.
The Gioviale String Quartet is coached by violinist Paul Biss of the faculty, a former member of the Berkshire Quartet. Members of the quartet are: Jeremias Sergiani-Velasquez, violin; Li-Mei Liang, violin; Ting-Ru Lai, viola; Kenny Lee, cello.
Joaquín Turina La Oración del Torero ("The Bullfighter's Prayer"), written originally for four lutes, also transcribed for string orchestra
Yi Yiing Chen The Island for string quartet
Claude Debussy String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10
Franz Schubert String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810 ("Death and the Maiden")
Yi Yiing Chen is a doctoral composition major studying with John Heiss. She has provided these notes on The Island.
While writing this work, I tried to recall the memories of my time in my homeland, Taiwan, and surprisingly found that there are various faces of it. I still carry these cherished scenes and feelings with me now, away from the island. I hope by transcribing them into musical notes I can share what I have kept in my mind with others. Besides, I have experienced scenes that were quite similar to Taipei, my birth place, when visiting other places in Taiwan, such as Kaoshung, Hualian, and Taichung. I guess this kind of allusion is created by nostalgia to some degree; therefore, I hope this work can be interpreted by professional and respected musicians’ expressions and enthusiasms, with their love for their own hometown.
The first movement, "Taipei the Clamorous," represents one of the brightest sides of Taiwan that has existed since my childhood. The noisy street, friendly local customs and practices have made the city very vibrant. Taipei is a city that never sleeps and is always ready for you. The second movement, "Taiwan the Precipitous," is the mountainous shape of Taiwan. As for the third movement, "Taipei the Lonely," I tried to capture the temporary but familiar solitude that I always feel when standing on the street corner and in front of the endless traffic stream in Taiwan. Finally, "Taipei, the Serene," the fourth movement, is my memories of those beautiful coastal places in Taiwan.
This work was written in 2011 and was revised in 2013.