Monday, November 24, 2014

Morelia Music Festival: Brodsky Quartet: Bartok and Late Beethoven + Other Tidbits

The four accomplished, affable British musicians who make up the Brodsky Quartet take pleasure in explaining the music they play, whether to the press or to their audience. After their rueda de prensa, I asked Ian Belton, the Second violinist, to explain the Quartet's Russian name. Forget the Nobel prizewinning poet, Joseph Brodsky. Instead the name honors Russian born Adolph Brodsky who was invited to Manchester at the end of the 19th century to be concertmaster of the symphony, then later directed the Royal College of Music in Manchester for a quarter of a century.
The others played standing, with the cellist on a platform,
her head level with theirs

Playing a program that led up to two of the greatest string quartets ever written, Bartok's Quartet #5 and Beethoven's late quartet, # 14, the Brodsky started with two short pieces from Bach's Art of the Fugue (for which Bach never specified instruments) and the haunting work Preghiera by the contemporary Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud.

Later, over a humdrum lunch, the eyes of a young travel writer shone as she expressed her excitement about hearing the rhythms and melodies of the Bartok. For me, the whole balanced program was a delight.

Violiinist Daniel Rowland holding the attention of the audience


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