By Randi Bjornstad

At first glance, the title of Delgani String Quartet’s February 2024 concerts — Blueprints — might seem a little odd.

But once you understand the logic of the pieces included in the program, it all becomes clear. What they have done is to identify pairs of compositions created centuries apart that examine the same emotions or purposes and allow the listener to make — and appreciate — the same connections.

They do it through juxtaposing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quartet Opus 18/6 (officially known as String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat Major, Opus 18, No. 6) with Caroline Shaw’s 2016 composition, Blueprint.

The Beethoven piece ends with the fourth movement, La Malinconia, or melancholy, in a series of his quartets that examine the gamut musical emotions, from despair to joy. Shaw created her piece for the Aizuri Quintet — the name comes from aizuri-e, referring to a Japanese woodblock printing technique that primarily uses a blue-tinted paint developed in Germany and traditionally called (including for many years in Crayola’s boxes of children’s crayons) as “Prussian Blue” — and the way the resulting wood-block prints reminded her of architectural blueprints and the building blocks of musical composition.

The second pairing on the program links English Baroque composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695) and British composer and conductor Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), with the Delgani String Quartet playing Purcell’s Fantasias and Chacony, the third of four movements of Britten’s String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36. Britten composed the quartet in honor of Purcell, whom he particularly revered for his skill in creating variations within a composition that shared a baseline and specific chords but created entirely different moods by changing melodies, rhythms, and solo instruments. The link between the two is strengthened by the fact that Britten composed his String Quartet No. 2 in C major in 1945, and the work was first performed on the exact date — Nov. 21 — of the 250th anniversary of Purcell’s death on Nov. 21, 1695.

Performance schedule

Eugene (both performances available in person or virtually in real time) —

  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, First Church of Christ Scientist, 1390 Pearl St.
  • 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, First Church of Christ Scientist, 1390 Pearl St.

Corvallis — 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, First Presbyterian Church, 114 SW Eighth St.

Portland — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, Historic Alberta House, 5131 NE 23rd Ave. (located in Cerimon House)

Salem — 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, 5090 Center St. NE

Virtual performances — Real time during Eugene performances or any time later at

Tickets: Adults $30, students $5, children 12 years and younger free; available in advance at

Information: or executive director Wyatt True at 541-579-5882 or email at


Delgani String Quartet; left to right, Kimberlee Uwate, Anthea , Jannie Wei, Eric Alterman