Any string quartet worthy of its name makes a point of promoting new works, and while the highly respected Vermeer Quartet isn't nearly as new-music crazy and eclectic in taste as, say, the Kronos, it's done more than its share. At this recital the De Kalb-based foursome will highlight Lowell Lieberman's Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking. Lieberman is a young New Yorker with a doctorate from the Juilliard and a penchant for tonality and accessibility; this 1993 work for voice and string quartet is a eulogy to Wait Whitman on the centennial of the poet's death. Set to the first two pages of the celebrated poem of the some title, it follows the text's "rhapsodic form and does not attempt to impose a more formal structure upon it," says the composer. Mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella, who premiered the piece, will do the honors in its Chicago debut. Also on the program are Puccini's tender eulogy Crisantemi (1890); Respighi's 1918 41 tramonto ("The Sunset") for mezzo and strings, set to a Shelley poem about spurned love; and Beethoven's Quartet in C-sharp Minor, always a strong piece for the Vermeer (they've been playing it since 1970). Sunday, 3 PM, concert hall, DePaul University, 800 W. Belden; 242-6237.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Joel Schochtel.