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28.4.10

Escher Quartet Excels at Bartók

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Read my review published today on the Washington Post Web site:

Charles T. Downey, Escher returns to KenCen for energetic sophomore outing
Washington Post, April 28, 2010

On Monday night the Escher String Quartet returned to the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, a little over a year since their debut in that venue. This young ensemble, established in 2005, enjoys an active and prestigious concert calendar but still sounds not quite fully formed. Their performance in this concert was marked by extraordinary verve and intensity – perhaps too much so.

Bartók’s second string quartet, particularly the barbaric attacks and mechanical repetition of motifs in the second movement, suited the foursome’s style the best. Unexpectedly, they produced the least strident tone in this fearlessly dissonant music and had the most solid rhythm, even as they gave a convincing fluidity to the folksong-like tempo fluctuations indicated by the composer. Bartók concluded this quartet with an elegiac slow movement, which the Eschers began with a somber, glowing sound. [Continue reading]
Escher String Quartet
Fortas Chamber Music Series
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Brahms, String Quartet No. 1, op. 51/1
Bartók, String Quartet No. 2, op. 17
Beethoven, String Quartet in E Minor, op. 59/2

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