The Pegasus String Quartet, UCF’s graduate string quartet under the direction of Ayako Yonetani, makes its Steinmetz Hall debut.

The Pegasus String Quartet, UCF’s graduate string quartet under the direction of Ayako Yonetani, makes its Steinmetz Hall debut. Joined by faculty members David Bjella, cello, and Hannah Sun, piano, the group performs Puccini’s Crisantemi and Schumann’s monumental Piano Quintet, Op. 44. The second half of the program is rounded out by UCF faculty members performing Beethoven’s Septet in E flat major, Op. 20.

Pegasus String Quartet

String Quartet “Crisantemi,” Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924)

Abigail Moore, violin
Ayako Yonetani, violin
Cesia Corrales, viola
David Bjella, cello


Piano Quintet in E flat Major, Op. 44, Robert Schumann (1810–1856)


I. Allegro brillante

II. In modo d’una marcia. Un poco largamente

III. Scherzo: Molto vivace

IV. Allegro ma non troppo


Ayako Yonetani, violin
Abigail Moore, violin
Cesia Corrales, viola
David Bjella, cello
Hannah Sun, piano




Beethoven Septet

Septet in Eb Major, op. 20Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)


Adagio – Allegro con brio 
Adagio cantabile 
Tempo di Menuetto 
Tema con Variazioni: Andante 
Andante con moto all Marcia 


Ayako Yonetani, violin 
Cesia Corrales, viola
David Bjella, cello
Chris Morgan, bass
Keith Koons, clarinet
Erika Clippinger, bassoon 
Justin Gittle, horn 


Puccini String Quartet “Crisantemi”

Puccini himself acknowledged that his true talent lay "only in the theatre," and so his non-operatic works are relatively few. In 1890 he composed I Crisantemi (The Chrysanthemums) in response to the sudden death of a friend and patron, Amadeo di Savoia, Duke of Aosta, a young and ambitious Italian prince at age 44. He was selected to assume the throne of the King of Spain after the Glorious Revolution of 1868. In Italy and some European coutries, chrysanthemums symbolize death and are used only for funerals or on graves. Puccini composed this single-movement elegy in one night. The quartet follows da capo form—A-B-A. It's a sentimental and emotional lament which Puccini reused and reworked in his opera "Manon Lescaut," three years later in 1893.


Schumann Piano Quintet Op. 44 in E-flat Major

The piece takes the instrumental composition of a string quartet with a piano, making it one of the most often played and widely loved quintets of this form. It is in E-flat major, which Schumann likes, and it is brilliant. Although carefully constructed, it is unexpectedly fun, friendly, and easy to understand.

In 1842, "the year of chamber music," he completed three string quartets in July and immediately started this quintet, which was completed on October 1. He even wrote a piano trio after this piano quintet. It was dedicated to his beloved wife, piano virtuoso Clara Schumann. She was scheduled to perform the piano part for the first private performance on December 6, 1842. However, she fell ill, and Felix Mendelssohn stepped in to sight-read the piano part.

Mendelssohn advised Schumann, and as a result, Schumann made various modifications. Clara Schumann gave the first public premiere on January 8, 1843, at the Gewandhaus.

The first movement is a Sonata form, which begins with a powerful, energetic brilliant first theme and an enchantingly romantic second theme. The piano plays a significant role

The second movement is like a funeral march, as Schumann described in the music "march mode," but the format is close to free Rondo. In the 3rd movement, Scherzo has two trios. The main element of the dashing Scherzo is a rushing scale going up and down. Two trios have contrasting episodes. The second trio is a manic dance that goes through many keys, and it is technically quite challenging for strings.

The fourth movement has a free sonata form with some canons and fugato passages.


Septet in Eb Major, op. 20

When Beethoven composed his Septet, op. 20 in 1799, he chose the unusual combination of four string and three wind instruments. The public premiere was heard in 1800 in the Burgtheater in Vienna, at a concert that he organized for his benefit. The piece gained the favor of the public, and it became one of his most popular works. Several years later, he arranged the piece for clarinet, cello and piano as opus 38.

With the variety of instruments used, there is considerable interplay and conversation between them. Each instrument receives a spotlight.

Going beyond the usual three or four movements for a string quartet or symphony, he expanded the work to six movements. The key of E-flat major is friendly to the winds.  Beethoven is recognized as helping to change the more sedate Minuet movement to the faster Scherzo; this work contains both. The theme and variations in the fourth movement contains five variations and a coda ending section. The scherzo movement is notable for featuring the horn and high cello writing.