Signum Quartett presents #Quartweet
The German Signum Quartet combines the string quartet and modern media in their #Quartweet project. They have asked numerous renowned composers to send in a Quartweet via twitter; a Quartweet is a composition of maximum 140 notes and rests (the equivalent of the maximum number of characters in a Tweet). However, young, new, old, as yet undiscovered and future composers are also invited to compose and send in a Quartweet! During the String Quartet Biennale the Signum Quartet will play a selection of new Quartweets in two sessions.
Marc Danel violin
Gilles Millet violin
Vlad Bogdanas viola
Yovan Markovitch cello
Joseph Haydn String Quartet no. 23, op. 20/5
Sofia Gubaidulina Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H
By combining Haydn’s opus 20/5 with Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H in concert, the Quatuor Danel emphasises the Baroque elements that are still clearly present in Haydn’s work. Whereas Gubaidulina only uses the Bach motif – the four notes that form Bach’s musical signature – in order to create variations upon it in her own style, Haydn often very consciously opts for use of the Baroque style on a grand scale, such as the double fugue that forms the last movement of this quartet.
More info about Quatuor Danel
What better way to open the festival day than with a Haydn quartet? The graceful elegance and clarity of the six Opus 20 string quartets, also known as the ‘Sun’ quartets, almost mask the ingenuity of this delightful music. During the String Quartet Biennale six different quartet ensembles open each festival day with a Haydn opus 20 and a surprising musical diversion.
Aitor Hevia violin
Cibrán Sierra Vázquez violin
Josep Puchades viola
Helena Poggio cello
Cuarteto Quiroga approaches a masterclass in the same way that they approach the string quartet. What makes them so special is the thoroughness with which they work on the music. Starting from four diverse perspectives they display incredible precision and dedication in building a technical, substantial and contextual framework within which the students can find their own voice.
More info about Cuarteto Quiroga
So many diverse quartets performed in the space of a single week; so much knowledge and experience to share. A masterclass provides the opportunity to delve deeper into the music and imparts new knowledge to musicians and audience alike. It is also a unique experience to follow the musical process from close by. During the String Quartet Biennale the musicians take masterclasses out of their traditional setting and dedicate them to topics that they consider essential for the string quartet.
Alfred Brendel speaker
Leo Samama Q&A
Alfred Brendel is a household name. Though a string quartet festival might not be the place you’d expect the legendary pianist. Ever since he retired as a piano player in 2008, he has focussed on giving lectures and masterclasses and has string quartet had a special place for him.
In his own words: “For many years I have greatly enjoyed coaching string quartets, and above all dealing with the late string quartet music of Beethoven. What distinguished Beethovens lifestyle? To find a concise answer it seems indispensable to look at his late piano works that, next to the Piano/Cello Sonatas Op. 102 and the song cycle ‘An die ferne Geliebte’, inaugurated a new approach towards composition. I shall be glad to talk about these matters during the String Quartet Biennale in Amsterdam.”
Frank de Groot violin
Maartje Kraan violin
Karin Dolman viola
Hans Woudenberg cello
Bart Visman Octet (world première)
Mariell Vain New work (Conservatorium van Amsterdam)
Leon Haxby New work (Conservatorium van Amsterdam)
Bas van Yperen New work (Conservatorium van Amsterdam)
How is it for young musicians to play music while the ink is still wet on the page? How does a composer feel when confronted with the first interpretation? And how do musicians and composers collaborate? The DoelenKwartet is a renowned Dutch quartet specialised in contemporary music. Having much experience in working together with many composers, it now helps young artists in the process of finding each other.
This workshop was preceded by a large-scale project in collaboration with the String Quartet Biennale and the conservatoires of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. The DoelenKwartet provided the students with intensive guidance and transmitted their knowledge of and passion for contemporary repertoire to young string quartets and composition students with great enthusiasm.
For young musicians, it’s a dream to have the opportunity to work with a teacher of the stature of Alfred Brendel. Besides young pianists, he mainly coaches young string quartets and focuses on the late string quartets of Beethoven and Schubert. Because it’s precisely those works in which he detects a strong link to the piano repertoire of both composers, as he will elucidate during his lecture.
A string quartet of the Dutch String Quartet Academy will participate in this masterclass.
Judith van Driel violin
Marleen Wester violin
Marie-Louise de Jong viola
David Faber cello
György Ligeti String Quartet no. 1 ‘Métamorphoses nocturnes’
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart String Quintet no. 5, KV. 593
György Ligeti Sonata for viola
Ligeti’s first string quartet belongs, in his own words, to the ‘prehistoric Ligeti’; the period during which he had not yet begun writing his characteristic complex clouds of sound but still continued in the Hungarian tradition established by his predecessors. In fact, the composer Kurtág referred to this first string quartet as ‘Bartók’s seventh quartet.’ Mozart’s fifth string quintet – by virtue of being a quintet – is an anomaly within this string quartet canon. This unusual combination of works is complemented by Ligeti’s viola sonata, which bridges the gap between the other two pieces.
The canon: core repertoire; turning points and crucial works of the string quartet repertoire – there is no such thing as a definitive list of works that constitute this canon. During the String Quartet Biennale various quartets will jointly start to create their own. From an individual perspective, each selects a number of diverse works, adding them to the String Quartet Biennale canon.
Abel Tomàs violin
Vera Martinez violin
Jonathan Brown viola
Arnau Tomàs cello
Marc Danel violin
Gilles Millet violin
Vlad Bogdanas viola
Yovan Markovitch cello
Doric String Quartet:
Alex Redington violin
Jonathan Stone violin
Hélène Clément viola
John Myerscough cello
Jorinde Keesmaat stage direction
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 3, op. 18/3
Benjamin Britten String Quartet no. 1
Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 7
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 11, op. 95
Dmitiri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 2
Dmitiri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 4
Benjamin Britten String Quartet no. 2
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 14, op. 131
Dmitiri Shostakovich String Quartet no. 15
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 16, op. 135
Benjamin Britten String Quartet no. 3
The pre-concert talk by Alex Ross (author of The Rest is Noise) will start at 18:15 on foyerdeck 1.
Embark on a six-hour voyage, criss-crossing between the oeuvres of three monumental composers – fittingly entitled The Impossible Voyage. As the name suggests it will be a demanding journey. It could be viewed as a mountain ascent; an optimistic, at times arduous climb, until one ultimately reaches the peak with Shostakovich’s fourth and Britten’s second quartet.
After this buoyant, energetic climb, Cuarteto Casals and Quatuor Danel descend into the depths with Beethoven’s opus 131 and Shostakovich’s fifteenth string quartet. Finally the Doric String Quartet and Quatuor Danel see the light in the final quartets of Britten and Beethoven.
Taking the music as her point of departure, Jorinde Keesmaat’s staging makes subtle use of elements such as light and positioning, transforming The Impossible Voyage into a gesamtkunstwerk (total art work).