THE EMERSON STRING QUARTET, which for 45 years has dominated the genre with playing that ranges from tripping elegance to brutal stomp, will spend the next two years saying goodbye. That leaves time for at least one more New York premiere, an all-Beethoven roadshow, a European tour, and an entire valedictory season: “A huge crescendo, then a subito piano,” violinist Philip Setzer says with relish. “We all know artists who said they were going to retire and just kept going and going,” adds fellow violinist Eugene Drucker. “We’re not going to do that.”
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