Composers Datebook®

Godfrey's Quartet No. 3

Daniel S. Godfrey (b. 1949) –String Quartet No. 3 (Cassatt String Quartet) Koch 7573

Composer's Datebook - 20220614


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June 14, 2022


It’s summertime, the livin’ is easy, and all across the country music festivals large and small are getting underway. In addition to the big symphonic festivals at Ravinia and Tanglewood, there are smaller ones devoted exclusively to the intimate art of chamber music. These festival often offer young, emerging composers the chance have their brand-new scores heard in workshop settings. Sometimes composers themselves are in charge of these summer festivals, partnering with established or specially-organized performing ensembles.

In 1995, for example, two American composers, Daniel S. Godfrey and Andrew Waggoner, started up the Seal Bay Festival, a two-week series of performances and workshops of recently composed chamber music in the Penobscot Bay area of Maine.

On June 14th, 2001, this newly-revised string quartet by Daniel Godfrey received its premiere by the Cassatt Quartet at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport.

The quartet is inscribed to the memory of Godfrey’s mother, who died in 1997. “Her passing,” says Godfrey, “came to represent for me the losses, and the necessity of letting go, that have accompanied my arrival at late middle age. To oversimplify, perhaps, the first movement grieves, the second looks back wistfully, and the third looks ahead with determination and, ultimately, with hope.”

Music Played in Today's Program

Daniel S. Godfrey (b. 1949) –String Quartet No. 3 (Cassatt String Quartet) Koch 7573

On This Day


  • 1730 - Italian opera composer Antonio Sacchini, in Florence;

  • 1835 - Russian composer, pianist and conductor Nicolai Rubinstein (brother of Anton), in Moscow (Julian date: June 2); He is probably best known for his severe criticism of Tchaikovksy's Piano Concerto No. 1 when the new work was submitted to him for consideration in 1874; He eventually changed his mind, and conducted the work as part of all-Russian concerts at the Paris Exposition in 1878;


  • 1594 - Flemish composer Orlande de Lassus (aka Orlando di Lasso, Orlandus Lassus, Roland Delattre), in Munich, age 61 or 62 (exact date of his birth is not known);

  • 1911 - Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist Johan Svendsen, age 70, in Copenhagen;


  • 1876 - Delibes: ballet, "Sylvia," in Paris;

  • 1927 - Gliere: ballet, "The Red Poppy," in Moscow;

  • 1952 - Americanized version of Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" translated by Marx Blitzstein premieres at Brandeis University as part of the first Festival of the Creative Arts, with Leonard Bernstein conducting;

  • 1962 - Stravinsky: "The Flood," on CBS Television;

  • 1985 - John Harbison: Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet and Strings, in Sarasota, Fla., with oboist Sarah Bloom and clarinetist Charles Russo, with the New College Festival Orchestra, Paul Wolfe conducting;

  • 2001 - Daniel S. Godfrey: revised version of String Quartet No. 3, at the Seal Bay Music Festival in Rockport, Maine, by the Cassett Quartet;