The Forgotten Art
Chamber music is one of those areas of the arts that people have heard about but often times know little about, either the music or the musicians. Perhaps it has had a slightly exclusive feel to it or is more associated with certain age groups or social groups. However the modern field of classical music is not confined to one generation or any specific socio-economic group and today more then ever the arts are more readily available to all. So what really constitutes chamber music and which groups have been leading the way on the American music scene? Chamber music can be defined as classical music that is played by a small group of instruments that would have traditionally been able to fit in a large room or palace chamber, hence its name. Generally the group comprises of one performer per instrument and will not typically perform as solos but as a whole ensemble. At its best the chamber group can bring to life a cleverly composed piece that allows the individual instruments to communicate back and forth with one another as though engaged in an elaborate conversation. This more intimate presentation of music can be enjoyed in the privacy of ones home or the public arena where the simplicity of the group allows for performance in numerous settings, unlike the more elaborate needs of a full orchestra.
The Emerson String Quartet
The Emerson String Quartet is a well established group that formed back in the seventies and is based in New York. The decades of experience is evident in the numerous accolades and awards they have received during their illustrious careers as well as the depth of ability and finesse that is brought to each performance. Needless to say such depth of experience and talent ensures a wonderfully polished rendition of any work they perform.
The Dover Quartet
At the other end of the scale, as it were, the Dover Quartet, that comprises four young musicians that play violin, viola and cello, have risen from up and coming status to the top spot in their field. In 2013 the group convincingly won the Banff International String Quartet Competition and since then has continued to be a force to be reckoned with within the world of chamber music.
The American Chamber Players
Expanding the realms and standards of chamber music the American Chamber Players are equal to any such group around the world. Comprising an ensemble of five musicians they beautifully blend the strings with the flute to delight the listener. They have been diligent in their inclusion of the more neglected works of this genre as well as highlighting new works being produced.
Biava Quartet is an American string quartet that as young as it is has already won numerous international competitions and developed a fan base both at home and abroad. The group consistently display the sensitivity and cohesion associated with a musically in tune ensemble, something that is intrinsic to the success of good chamber music in all its intimacies. Already the subject of a T.V documentary the group seems destined to continue their successful journey in chamber music.
This small sample of what the American chamber music scene has to offer demonstrates that this field of the arts is certainly diverse and dynamic and increasing in popularity across all ages.