VERMEER QUARTET. I made time Wednesday to attend the Vermeer Quartet's final performance. (The University's statement is instructive: apparently this quartet was among the pioneers in choosing a name other than of a composer or of a city, and their choice inspired some student wags to name their quartet after another well-known painter.)

The opening segment featured the Mozart K.589 in B-flat and the Janacek No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata," program music with a soap opera theme. After intermission, the Schumann Op. 44 Quintet in E-flat, adding Prof. William Koehler on piano.

The chairman of the music department noted that at the time the University recruited violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, the University was barely a university, the campus was much smaller, and DeKalb, [despite having train service to Chicago -- ed.] very much a small town on a featureless plain. He signed on anyway. Although the Quartet is in retirement, the musicians will remain active, some at Northern Illinois and some elsewhere.

Thank you, gentlemen.

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