The critically acclaimed Cypress String Quartet returns to Sonoma on Sunday, March 9, with a program featuring one of the greatest compositions in all chamber music — Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major, D. 956. It was certainly Schubert’s finest string quintet; indeed, it was the only one he composed, finishing it two months before he died, in 1828.
Formed in 1996, the Cypress String Quartet is Tom Stone, violin, Ethan Filner, viola, Jennifer Kloetzel, cello and Cecily Ward, violin. For the Schubert piece, they will be joined by Jean-Michel Fonteneau, second cello. Fonteneau, currently chair of the chamber music program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, is a founding member of the Ravel String Quartet.
The quartet members trained individually at institutions including the Juilliard School, Interlochen Arts Academy, Cleveland Institute of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal Academy of Music. Their most recent CD was the highly praised “The American Album,” featuring music of Barber, Griffes, and Dvorak.
The Cypress Quartet will open the Sonoma concert with Haydn’s String Quartet in D Major, Opus 76, #5, sometimes nicknamed “The Largo,” and one of the six Opus 76 quartets; Anton Webern’s “Langsamer Satz” (slow movement), written in 1906; and Webern’s “5 Movements for String Quartet,” written in 1909 and in which he was continuing his exploration of atonality.
The concert is the second in Sonoma Classical Music Society’s 2014 Spring Series. Tickets are $20 for members of the Society, $25 for adults, and $10 for students, at Sonomaclassical.org, Readers’ Books, Pharmaca, and at the door.