October 12, 2018

String Quartets by Prokofiev, Janáček, Golijov and Mendelssohn Debut Recording With Signum Records Released Worldwide

Sergei Prokofiev String Quartet No.2 in F major, Op.92 ‘Kabardinian’

Osvaldo Golijov Tenebrae

Leoš Janáček String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’

Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet No 6 in F minor, Op.80

“We offer our performances of quartets by Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Golijov and Janáček as a message of hope because they illuminate the human potential to create beauty, even in the darkest of circumstances.”
-Calidore String Quartet

In a world of dissonance and conflict combined with omnipresent media reporting, the unrelenting noise of social and political discord seems to be ever increasing. But the power of creativity inherent in music can provide balm and respite. This is the strong belief of the young players of the celebrated Calidore String Quartet and is their motivation for selecting this compelling repertoire for Resilience, their debut CD on Signum Records to be released worldwide on October 12.

The Calidore String Quartet is a recent Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award recipient, and Grand-Prize winner of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition. The multi-award-winning ensemble is based in New York and already recognized as one of America’s foremost quartets with a steadily growing reputation in Europe and the UK where it is currently part of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme and a recent winner of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. The players wanted to find their own musical standpoint in the current environment of unrest and division, so they identified four masterworks from great composers who, whether in the midst of personal emotional turmoil or external conflict, seemed to find a cathartic path towards optimism through music.

In Mendelssohn’s String Quartet op. 80, composed in the wake of his beloved sister’s untimely death in 1847, the turbulence of grief and anger gives way to a sense of nostalgia and tenderness in the third movement to bring some sense of consolation. Janáček poured out his tumultuous feelings of unrequited love in his first string quartet based on Tolstoy’s novella ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’, a narrative that reflected his own frustration at being trapped in a loveless marriage while hopelessly in love with a younger woman.

Argentine composer Golijov was inspired by two contrasting experiences - one of violence in the Middle East and another of tranquillity in a planetarium - for his quartet Tenebrae, a study of conflict between the big-picture serenity of earth viewed from space and the close-up reality of pain and discord that troubles so much of the world. Decades before during the German army’s destruction of his Soviet homeland in 1941, Prokofiev was evacuated to the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, where he found a degree of emotional respite by immersing himself in the Kabardino folk rhythms and melodies to create a new palette of textures and sounds for his second String Quartet.

Track List:

1. String Quartet No. 1, Op. 92: I. Allegro sostenuto 06:16
2. String Quartet No. 1, Op. 92: II. Adagio 07:19
3. String Quartet No. 1, Op. 92: III. Allegro 08:18
4. String Quartet No. 1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': I. Adagio 04:11
5. String Quartet No. 1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': II. Con moto 04:22
6. String Quartet No. 1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': III. Con moto 04:03
7. String Quartet No. 1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': IV. Con moto (adagio) 05:14
8. Tenebrae 14:31
9. String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80: I. Allegro vivaci assai 07:43
10. String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80: II. Allegro assai 05:06
11. String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80: III. Adagio 08:03
12. String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80: IV. Finale. Allegro molto 05:37

Praise for Resilience:

“Self-assured, mutually supportive, creative, grateful for all the guidance they have had: The Calidores would seem to have the resilience they need for a long and fruitful musical career.”
- Strings
“A commendable venture, thoughtfully programmed and featuring strong performances throughout. … The [Mendelssohn] burns with a brutal energy, and the Calidore Quartet successfully capture the emotional charge of this powerful work, bringing Resilience to a suitably stirring close.”
- BBC Music Magazine
“Cleanly recorded new disc…this cleverly devised selection of quartets (refreshingly mirroring a concert programme rather than a need to compartmentalise composers) brings together four creative artists working through internal or external conflict in their music, from unrequited love to grief. The players present an impressive sense of ensemble.”
- Strad
“A testament to perseverance and endurance through trying times…Considering the turbulence and unrest that followed the 2016 general election in the United States, the Calidore String Quartet decided that it needed to redefine its role and purpose in society, and it developed this program to shine a light on the creation of art in times of adversity…To be compelling on an emotional level, great art must deal with conflicts and crises, and even without the construct of this program, the performances are affecting and intellectually satisfying, due to the Calidore's committed playing, which ultimately gives Resilience its staying power.”
- All Music Guide
“Everything here has a clarity and an underlying rhythmic energy that I found enormously invigorating, whether in their bracing approach to Mendelssohn’s tragic F minor Quartet – a near ideal meeting of lyricism and high tension – or the playful rhythmic kick-and-a-swing they give to the Prokofiev…Freshness doesn’t have to be chilly, and precision needn’t inhibit expression. These lively, intelligent performances of an attractive and thought-provoking programme offer compelling proof.”
- Gramophone
“Thrilling performances of four works which deserve to be far better known… Superb, rhythmically alert playing, the players’ collective virtuosity always at the service of the music.”
- The Arts Desk
“Never, one feels, do these players lose sight of the fact that the music, for all its violence and passion, should be a thing of beauty. This is a performance of Janáček’s short masterpiece – so much said in so little time! – to rank amongst the very finest.”
- MusicWeb International
“A remarkable group with a bright future.”
- Stay Thirsty Magazine