Aperio returns to Rothko Chapel to present Fallen Angels – a program that contrasts two monumental string quartets: Franz Schubert’s Death and the Maiden and American composer George Crumb’s Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land. The unexpected juxtaposition of these two works suggests an adventurous musical dialogue between the composers across a span of almost 150 years.
Schubert wrote his String Quartet No. 14 in D minor in 1824 as a presentiment of his own death. The work’s subtitle refers to Schubert’s quotation of his song Death and the Maiden in the work’s slow movement. The theme of the composer’s mortality colors the work as a whole.
George Crumb’s Black Angels explicitly references Schubert’s wondrous work. In this groundbreaking piece Crumb explores polarities of human existence: life and death, good and evil, war and peace. Casting his net wide to include many cultural influences and innovative compositional techniques, the composer ingeniously presents an awe-inspiring commentary on the opposing modalities of human nature and how they interact in every human’s life and the world at large.