Monday, December 14, 2015

Classical Chamber Music

Metropolitan Playhouse
Iris String Quartet

Entela Barci, Yibin Li,  Muneyoshi Takahashi, Sean Katsuyama

YIBIN LI, Violin





December 8, 2015

220 East 4th Street between Avenues A and B 

Metropolitan Playhouse located in the East Village was pleased to present the IRIS STRING QUARTET in a concert of major works by Mendelssohn and Haydn, along with the World Premiere of MICHAEL KOSCH'S Strokes of Sky: Paris.  The program included: Joseph Haydn, String Quartet in B Flat major, Op. 76, No. 4 "Sunrise," Felix Mendelssohn, String Quartet in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1 'The American," and Kosch's world premiere. 

The Iris Quartet has played in most of New York's finest venues like Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully, Steinway, Merkin, and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center so it was a pleasant surprise to listen to them in a small chamber; especially, for the classical chamber music lover. Apparently, the quartet is named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow. These young musicians come from different countries and some were educated at Juilliard and others at respective renowned schools in their country of origin as well as having trained with the masters in their field. 

Haydn's "Sunrise" was symbolic of the Age of Enlightenment and was played with utmost seriousness. Kosch's world premiere followed and is the first of a four-part quartet inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's latest works while in France with the idea that art inspires musical composition. If the intention was to portray bustling city streets and contemporary life, it succeeded. Actually, it looked difficult for the musicians to perform so was that the composer's intention or does it need to be improved? 

After a short intermission, the quartet finished with a beautiful rendition of Mendelssohn that was music to the ears and played with confidence and expertise. This energetic string quartet unfolded in pleasing, sweet melodious patterns. It was my favorite piece. Mendelssohn was an icon of Romanticism and died at the age of 38. This energetic string quartet unfolded in pleasing, sweet melodious patterns. 

For more information about the Metropolitan Playhouse, visit

For more information about the Iris String Quartet, visit
Laura Thompson