Masterpiece Discovery

Rehearsing Schubert’s String Quintet for our Masterpiece Discovery Debut

Salastina’s Masterpiece Discovery concert format shines the spotlight on one great pillar of the classical repertoire. Pieces we’ve explored to date have included Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings, Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, and many more. By sharing well-chosen musical examples (and explaining their meaning within the context of the piece as a whole), first-time and veteran concert-goers alike enjoy a uniquely enriching performance experience. Each performance is followed by a Q&A, which invites the audience to further engage with the material they’ve just heard. A post-concert reception follows, in which audience members can mingle with the musicians — enjoying a lively and intimate exchange with them.

Resident Host Brian Lauritzen with Maia Jasper in January 2013

Resident Host Brian Lauritzen with Maia Jasper in January 2013

Since its inception three years ago, Masterpiece Discovery has become one of our most popular formats. We are honored to have KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen as our resident Masterpiece Discovery host. Our audiences have loved having Brian lead guided tours through the masterpieces we’ve explored together since January of 2013.

In each “Masterpiece Discovery” concert, we address questions such as:

~ What was the composer like?
~ What is the story behind this particular piece?
~ What makes the writing so masterful on a technical level?
~ What are the technical elements that the composer used to convey emotion, and what makes them so effective?
~ What is a masterpiece, and what makes this piece one of them?
~ How does a masterpiece elevate and enrich us, its audience?

What our audience is saying:

“There is a big difference between hearing a piece of music and understanding it. In this single performance with the interspersed explanations by B. Lauritzen I came closer to understanding and appreciating the “Verklärte Nacht” than through all the combined performances I attended previously. That the ensemble is of superb quality goes without saying. I thoroughly enjoyed this evening.” ~ Robert Cauer

“Quite simply, it was far more than one could even have hoped for or dreamt about. The performance was completely stunning. It truly was as if each instrument and each sterling performer was transported to 1825 and the audience was allowed this personal encounter with precisely how young Mendelssohn meant it to be. Perfection.” ~ Mike Wilson

“I just encountered a most amazing Verklärte Nacht concert where the first half was a lecture demonstration and the second half of the “concert” was the performance.  The presentation was exceptional illustrating all of the main themes and showing how these same themes become “transfigured” throughout the work.” ~ Larry Schoenberg (son of Arnold Schoenberg)

“Wonderful musicians, great music. Also enjoyed the informality of being able to sit in on a bit of rehearsal at the beginning and meet some of the players. Besides being great players, they all seemed like genuinely good people. Brian Lauritzen’s commentary made the very descriptive music even more sharp in its intent.” ~ Andreas Kratky

To learn about upcoming Masterpiece Discovery performances, please click <a href=””>here</a>.