The Pacifica Quartet is on a mission. The Bloomington Indiana–based string quartet opened their recital at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts Sunday afternoon with a strongly-worded manifesto in favor of ranking Elliott Carter’s First String Quartet among the very greatest chamber works of the last century.

For all the fabled difficulty of the work’s structure, second violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson made a case for the piece representing the same stage in Carter’s works as Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” No. 1 (also on the program) occupies for that composer - namely a game - altering construction that serves as a portal to the future both for the composer and for the genre itself.

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