Quartet keeps it classy(cal)

In Arts & Entertainment, Music

The highly respected Meng Concert Hall at Cal State Fullerton will be hosting the Talich Quartet this Friday beginning at 8 p.m. The quartet, which was formed in Prague more than 50 years ago, comes to campus as a result of the hard work of Ernest Salem, music professor at CSUF.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for our students and for the school for the quartet to be in residency here,” said Salem, who is a former concertmaster of the Wichita Symphony.

Salem has performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra among others, and has himself given recitals and concerts all over the world including South America and Europe.

Salem studied with the quartet’s first violinist and toured in Prague where the quartet is based. He has worked with them to organize a visit to CSUF.

In 2009 the quartet visited and performed a concert with the university orchestra. This year the quartet will be giving individual lessons to students on campus.

“The Talich Quartet is composed of very common instrumentation: violin 1, violin 2, viola and cello … which is called a string quartet. Many quartets are made to resemble your standard vocal quartet so you have four voices of which are soprano, alto, tenor and bass,” said Befael Garcia, 23, former music education major from Anaheim, Calif.

The quartet’s focus is on classical music and consists of Jan Talich (violin), Roman Pato?ka (violin), Vladimír Buka? (viola) and Petr Prause (cello).

“Quartets date back to the Baroque Era of music, quartets during the time were a way of socializing,” Garcia said. “It was seen as necessary in the higher class to know how to play music, as playing music was kind of like playing cards. It was what they did when they got together with friends.”

Though the quartet has been around for a long time, the members of the group have gradually changed over time until an entire new cast was formed in the 1990s.

“I love the sound of quartets; being a singer myself  I especially love barbershop quartets. In a barbershop quartet, a voice takes the lead and sings the melody of a song while the other three voices fill in the harmonies,” said Ben Lopez, 24, a music major.  “I would love to see the Talich quartet because I feel that musically it would be a wonderful experience.”

Funding for the show was provided in part by the Marcy Arroues Mulville Memorial alliance as well as the CSUF music department.

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