String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam 2020 in a blaze of glory
"For what the Jerusalem Quartet referred to as the "hard core" audience members, this year’s SQBA presented Late Beethoven performed at a late hour, following the 8:15 evening concert. The Jerusalem’s showed their incomparable sense of timing in Beethoven’s op 132; the musical prayer of thanks that imbues the third movement with heavenly optimism was especially memorable."
The Jerusalem Quartet, with violist Gregor Sigl of the Artemis Quartet. Photo by Ben Bonouvrier.
"Once a time, a long time ago during a lull in a quartet coaching session on a very cold, wintry day in Banff, Canada, the spirit of Martin Lovett, the Wolf Gang’s inimical cellist (Wolf Gang was a nickname given to the Amadeus Quartet) defrosted a master class of daunted participants. The violin pedagogue, Thomas Rolston requoted : "Sing the tune when you play something humdrum and sing the accompaniment when you play the tune." The oft-repeated adage could serve as a golden thread for an absolutely extraordinary evening performance by the Jerusalem Quartet. It is hard to find a range of superlatives to characterize their renditions of Haydn and Bartok that preceded the piece de resistance, Brahms’ string quintet no. 2.
The Jerusalem’s brought forward the prophetic undertones in Bartok while never forgetting the atavism within a polyrhythmic jive. The allegretto pizzicato showed off the group’s panache, technical perfection and humor. Gregor Sigl joined for an exalting Brahms, singing throughout."
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