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Eclipse Quartet bridges musical eras

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Marisa Saldaña
Staff Writer

As the lights dimmed, the bobbing of violin, viola and cello bows intensified. It was evident that passion was present when the Eclipse Quartet performed at Pomona College Saturday.

The quartet is composed of four women: two Pomona College faculty members and two other musicians. Together, they performed pieces that varied in tone and era.

The set featured three pieces: “Recess” by Tom Flaherty, “Veklarte Nacht” by Arnold Schoenberg and “Epilogue” by Eric Lindholm.

Lindholm, professor of music at Pomona College and a cellist, was invited to compose a piece for the finale of a concert at the University of Redlands in 2014, featuring three of J. S. Bach’s pieces. The chosen pieces were meant for solos performed by a violist, a violinist, and a cellist, but Lindholm created a piece that integrated all three instruments and would be a fitting conclusion to the work of a master in the world of music.

“I tried to do something a little bit lighter, little less intellectual than Bach’s work,” Lindholm said.

His piece was performed by violinist Sarah Thornblade, violist Kira Blumberg and cellist Maggie Parkins.

The piece was both light and daunting, with deep sounds emanating from the cello and higher, more delicate notes coming from the violins and violas.

Although Lindholm’s piece was complex and intriguing, he said that in no way was he attempting to compete with the complexity of Bach’s music.

“Bach’s music is extraordinarily sophisticated, and absolutely beautiful, but if I tried to do something as complex as his, I don’t think it would work quite as well,” Lindholm said.

Sara Parkins, a violinist in the Eclipse Quartet, performed in two of the three pieces. She said she was glad to be playing at Pomona College’s beautiful Bridges Music Hall.

“I think it went well, we were very concentrated and emotionally connected to the music,” Parkins said.

The Eclipse Quartet has been together for almost 10 years and playing music mostly of this era, but Parkins said that to play something much older was an incredible experience.

Though the group has had much history together, Parkins said that this performance, the Schoenberg piece in particular, holds a special place in her heart.

“The quartet piece was made for us, so we have a sort of fondness for it, but the (Schoenberg piece) is one of those monumental pieces that’s just very meaningful,” Parkins said.

House manager and junior mathematics major Alan Peral found the performance intriguing and very different from previous performances.

“I thought it was really special to hear pieces that haven’t really been heard yet,” he said.

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Marisa Saldaña can be reached at

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