The Bartok Project presented by The RTÉ Contempo Quartet at Limerick City Gallery. Photo: Mark Stedman
The RTÉ Contempo Quartet is one of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today. Described by its members as “the ABBA of classical music”, the group studied together in Bucharest Romania, forming a quartet together in 1995. They were appointed Galway Music Residency’s Quartet in Residence in 2003 and RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence in May 2014.
The six quartets of Béla Bartók, written between 1908 and 1939, form the cornerstone of RTÉ Contempo Quartet’s 2017 season, one of which will be performed at LCGA on February 16th, complemented by the superb OP. 76 quartets 1-6 by Haydn and the premiere of a specially-commissioned piece by contemporary Irish composer David Coonan will also be performed on the night.
Although regarded as one of the great early twentieth century modernists, Bartók was influenced by past European classical traditions. His quartets are generally acknowledged as representing one of the pillars of the entire string quartet repertoire and are groundbreaking in every way – structurally, rhythmically, harmonically and tonally, as he strove to free himself from
The Contempo Quartet will also perform Haydn’s Quartet No 5 in D, regarded as one of the pinnacles of the classical style and the crowning glory of the man dubbed the “Father of the String Quartet”. Published in 1799 they form the last complete set that Haydn wrote, each quartet a mini masterpiece in itself. The Bartók Project also offers a fascinating opportunity to consider how six contemporary Irish composers have responded to the challenge of writing for the medium of a string quartet.
“A polished and professional group … full of exuberance with a fine sense of ensemble” the Strad
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