Joyce DiDonato and the Brentano String Quartet (Mark Steinberg, violin / Serena Canin, violin / Misha Amory, viola / Nina Lee, cello) present two concerts this autumn, at premier venues across the US. They perform on September 22 at Brigham Young University’s de Jong Concert Hall, and again on October 5 at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater, part of the Fortas Chamber Music Series. The programme features selections from Bach’s The Art of Fugue, Haydn’s Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 20, a series of Strauss songs arranged for mezzo-soprano and string quartet, and Jake Heggie’s Camille Claudel: Into the Fire for mezzo-soprano and string quartet, composed for Ms. DiDonato’s voice.
Joyce and the Brentano String Quartet have received wide critical acclaim for their past collaborations on the stage, highlighting Camille Claudel: Into the Fire –
“It’s immaculately tailored to DiDonato’s voice, with its remarkable flexibility and expressive range. Coloratura flourishes suggest Camille’s volatility. Long lines, full of immaculate pianissimos, convey her retreat into a private world of memory . . . ” (The Guardian)
“The climactic finale involved the local premiere of Jake Heggie’s Camille Claudel: Into the Fire (2011), an extensive ode to the agonised sculptor — Rodin’s lover — who died in 1943 . . . DiDonato sang the expansive solos with rare conviction and lustrous, subtly shaded tone. For a once in clap-happy Manhattan, the standing ovation seemed mandatory.” (The Financial Times)