PORTRAIT / Brentano Quartet
Klankwereld van de Renaissance
Zondag 28.1 / 11:00
Brentano Quartet avondconcert
Zondag 28.1 / 20:15
Selected by / Brentano Quartet
Maandag 29.1 / 17:00
I am Serena Canin, second violinist of the Brentano Quartet. Second violinists, for some reason, often display clerical tendencies, so it has fallen to me to speak for our group. We began playing together in New York City 25 years ago, fresh out of school, and we are today almost the original four —only our cellist, Nina Lee, is “new,” having joined us in 1999. This tells us a few things, besides the fact that we are, alas, no longer young: we do get along quite well, we have met with enough success to sustain our shared musical venture, and we have by now a significant body of experience behind us.
It is the luxury of time and shared experience that allows for a group to develop its own sound, style, personality, and musical values. A wonderful thing about musical performance is that it reveals the inner light of the individual, and a wonderful thing about string quartets is that the process of making those four individual lights become one is a bit mysterious, a musical alchemy which each group achieves in its own way. While it is hard for me, from the inside, to characterize exactly what makes us US — it involves both conscious decisions and unconscious instincts — I can guarantee that each group will bring something uniquely personal to the stage.
Like many quartet players, I fell in love with the quartet as soon as I played in one, as a young teenager at a summer music camp. What a joy it was, after all those hours spent practicing alone in my room, to come together with friends and try to figure out how to make this wonderful music (Beethoven Op. 18#1) sound good — TOGETHER!
Besides the repertoire itself, which is rich enough to keep a quartet happily engaged for a lifetime, it is the tremendous idealism behind the quartet that compels me to keep playing. The idea that by participating in this mini-democracy a group can create a whole that is better than the sum of its parts is powerful and sustaining. If only some of our politicians would sit down together and play quartets!
When we were first approached about the Biennale, we were asked to consider programming something unusual, music we have performed over the years that has become something of a signature. You can imagine that in putting together a project such as the Biennale, programs went back and forth countless times before being decided, but from the beginning we were certain that for us, this signature event would be a program of early music.
Although we are not a dedicated early music group, we enjoy the vocal and viol music from the Renaissance enormously, and we find that much of it works well for modern strings. It is a joy to study vocal texts, to try to match the possibilities of the bow to the sounds of consonants, to try to capture the vibrancy and spirit of the words without speaking them. The instrumental music is delightful, lively, full of dance-like verve and positive energy. This program of music that pre-dates the string quartet is a glimpse back through time, reminding us that at the root of our music lie the basic human impulses of song and dance.
Een festival helemaal gewijd aan het strijkkwartet? En dan nog tweejaarlijks? Vanwaar de noodzaak? Wat is er zo bijzonder aan het strijkkwartet dat het zoveel aandacht verdient? Is het niet… Lees Meer