The New York Times

January 9, 2015 | Zachary Woolfe 

So Nice, They Do It Twice

While this kind of “bis” is primarily a vocal phenomenon when it still pops up, it occasionally makes incursions into instrumental music. In November, the excellent Pacifica Quartet appeared at Alice Tully Hall under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Receiving warm applause at the end of the concert, the players sat down for an unexpected encore: the second movement, “Menace,” of Shulamit Ran’s “Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory” (2012-13), which the group had played in its entirety before intermission. I wish that more ensembles would consider this, particularly in concerts featuring contemporary music that would benefit from being worked deeper into listeners’ ears.

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NPR Tiny Desk Concert

August 18, 2014 | Tom Huizenga 

Tiny Desk: Pacifica Quartet

With this Tiny Desk Concert by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet, we have the opportunity to explore the world of a single composer. With the arguable exception of Béla Bartók's six string quartets, it's generally accepted that the 15 by Dmitri Shostakovich are the strongest body of quartets since Beethoven.

There's no way around it — the Shostakovich quartets are intense, like page-turning thrillers, as they pull you into his world. They are dark and introspective, witty and sarcastic, and stained with the Soviet-era violence and hardship the composer lived through. He died in 1975.

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