It can take years for string quartets to perfect the musical rapport that binds them and draws a following. For the budding Aizuri Quartet, however, that bond has fused naturally and quickly.
At the Barns at Wolf Trap, where the quartet closed out the chamber-music season Friday evening, Aizuri’s captivating performance drew from that meld of intellect, technique and emotions.
Formed in 2012, Aizuri creates myriad sounds and textures with little to no variances from player to player. Comprising violinists Miho Saegusa and Ariana Kim, violist Ayane Kozasa and cellist Karen Ouzounian, this string sisterhood of Juilliard and Curtis graduates — each one a magnificent musician in her own right — performs with an unhurried, in-the-moment approach. Every note the quartet produces is lovingly crafted and savored, as it demonstrated with full-bodied tones and expression in Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3 in A , Op. 41.
In Aizuri’s hands, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat, Op. 18, became a study in contrasts. A wispy motif that alternated with dramatic moments anchored the mirthful but mercurial opening movement. Aizuri tidily braided the melodies in the Adagio yet allowed the passages to remain lithe. In the Scherzo, Aizuri’s syncopations were playful yet meticulous while, in the finale, the quartet bided its time, allowing the icy melancholy to melt into radiant sunbeams.
The Beethoven set Aizuri up well to give the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s “Blueprint.” Commissioned by Wolf Trap Foundation, the eight-minute work was written for Aizuri, whose lively performance brought out its raw edginess and cinematic appeal. Juxtaposing the composition with the Beethoven quartet that had inspired it was a wise decision; “Blueprint” deconstructed the original in a deferential and humorous way.