On The Vine – September 2015
Choosing musicians for the International Concert Season is always a judicious balance between artists who are well known and much loved, and those new to Australian audiences but who deserve the chance to be heard. When we first presented the Modigliani Quartet on national tour in 2011 they were completely unknown here, and appeared as part of a musical marriage that we had engineered with the impeccable German clarinettist Sabine Meyer.
To the great good fortune of everyone involved they got on incredibly well and made some magical music together. Since then the group’s international stature and musical prowess have continued to evolve, and we welcome back an even more confident and mature ensemble to conduct their first tour unaccompanied this October.
The group is presenting two diverse programs that revolve around a remarkable Australian composition – Nigel Westlake’s masterful Second String Quartet, commissioned by Kenneth Tribe AC in 2005. Each starts with a Haydn quartet (nos 36 and 42 respectively) and includes a Schubert Quartet (nos 10 and 12). The closing works are vastly different – Beethoven’s Eleventh Quartet (op 95) and Dohnányi’s Third.
Beethoven’s ‘Serioso’ Quartet precedes by a decade the famous collection of ‘Late Quartets’ that form such a compelling compendium of the great man’s last few years of creation. It is, even so, a radical work that the composer himself considered too experimental for general consumption, though now it sounds not only convincing but also deeply satisfying. Dohnányi wrote only three quartets, which are rarely performed, and it is gratifying to see the finest and last of these championed by a group as talented as the Modigliani Quartet.
Carl Vine AO
Modigliani Quartet tour Australia 5 October – 17 October. For more information, and to book your tickets, please visit: www.musicaviva.com.au/Modigliani