Selected by / Quatuor Danel
Marc Danel violin
Gilles Millet violin
Vlad Bogdanas viola
Yovan Markovitch cello
Guillaume Lekeu Molto adagio, sempre cantante doloroso
César Franck String Quartet
Each day in Selected By a quartet will present two major works of its own choice in a one-hour performance without interval. The juxtaposition of the two pieces creates a strong contrast or tension, while in some cases their musical impact is reinforced by their relationship to each other.
This Belgian programme features two rarely performed works, one conceived on a grand scale and the other of more modest dimensions. ‘Molto adagio, sempre cantante doloroso’ – extremely slowly, always singing with great sorrow. The title chosen by the 17-year-old Lekeu speaks volumes. At the top of the score he also wrote ‘my soul is sorrowful, to the point of death.’ Lekeu’s death at the tender age of 24 restricted his string quartet oeuvre to just four short works, of which this is the most emotionally developed.
Lekeu studied with Franck, a late-blooming composer who wrote only one string quartet, inspired by the late Beethoven quartets. It is a majestic Romantic work more than three quarters of an hour in duration. Written just seven months before his death, it marked his first great success as a composer.