By Daniel Buckwalter

We all need guides in life, even classical music composers.

From Ludwig van Beethoven to American Caroline Shaw, from the revered Baroque-era British composer Henry Purcell to fellow Englishman Benjamin Britten, composers in the modern era find inspiration and connections with the masters from centuries back.

Delgani String Quartet explored the connections among these four composers, in pairs, with two concerts Feb. 4 and Feb. 6 at The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Eugene. The Eugene-based quartet — violinists Anthea Kreston and Jannie Wei, violist Kimberlee Uwate and cellist Eric Alterman — continue these concerts, Blueprints, this weekend with stops in Corvallis, Portland and Salem.

If you missed the Eugene concerts, you’re in luck. Delgani String Quartet still streams its Eugene concerts, and they are well worth watching at

Beethoven’s four-movement Sixth Quartet, published in 1801, is first. As Uwate explains before the performance, the great composer upended the convention of the time with his series of string quartets. The Sixth Quartet’s second movement, especially, has a sing-song element to it that I find enjoyable.

It was the inspiration for Shaw’s Blueprint, composed in 2016, which has an experimental element to it that is not overbearing. On the contrary, that experimentation is subtle and makes sense. It’s a pleasure to listen to it.

Purcell’s Fantasias, composed in 1680, follows after intermission. He was a prolific and legendary composer during the Baroque period.

It’s a short piece, introducing the much longer and complex String Quartet No. 2 by Britten, composed in 1945 and which pays homage to Purcell, and it is this three-movement piece, in particular, that listeners should pay attention to while viewing the stream on Delgani’s website.

As Alterman explains before the performance, this is a challenging work for first-time listeners (like myself) to fully absorb.

Yet it’s fun, particularly the third movement (“Chacony: Sostenuto”) where Alterman, Kreston and Uwate step out of conventional play to show unique and polished skills with their instruments.

Blueprints on the Delgani String Quartet website is a terrific way to reacquaint yourself with this remarkable ensemble.