The Newport Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary Season Opening Night Concert begins with Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12, nicknamed the American Quartet, which exudes hope and joy. First performed on New Year’s Day, 1894 in Boston, this String Quartet is one Dvořák created to memorialize his travels to the U.S. The evening continues with Copland’s Old American Songs which capture the jovial, melancholy, and moving melodies of folk music, revealing a complexity of sound imbedded in familiar tunes. These include the Shaker Simple Gifts, the spiritual At the River, and the comical I Bought Me a Cat. The program closes with Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings Op. 20, composed early in his life and enchanting in its musicality and sophistication. A concert that is full of delight, pleasure, and celebration to open the 2018 Anniversary Season.