What The String Quartet Connoisseurs Were Waiting For

Vorarlberger Nachrichten
May 9, 2016
by Fritz Jurmann

HOHENEMS – Much celebrated debut

Schubertian string quartet connoisseurs have long been awaiting the worldwide renowned Takács Quartet, founded in 1975. Finally on Saturday its much celebrated debut arrived: as expected, the ensemble swept through the Markus Sittikus Hall like a tempest, with that incredible mixture of dramatic tension and warmth that have become its trade mark. Their thrilling, vivacious performing style made Dvorák’s String Quintet in E flat a particular sensation. Though less well-known than the ‘American’ String Quartet, it is equally chock-full of typically ‘New World’ melodies, often in dance style, that give the work an almost exotic undertone. By adding a second viola (Lawrence Power) the sound is made distinctly dark and mysterious; but often it also takes on an almost orchestral richness and intensity, particularly in the finale.

From the very start, the four artists with their superb leader Edward Dusinberre dived deep down into the world of Schubert’s ‘Rosamunde’ Quartet: seemingly such an amiable work, with its famous Andante theme that everyone in the audience listens out for. But this cosy Biedermeier idyll proves fragile: a smile beneath tears. The Takács Quartet made this nightmarishly apparent, making the idyllic world collapse at the start, with the gloomy minor-key theme of the opening movement, as well as in the threatening cello interjections of the Minuet, leading to an energetically protesting, terrifyingly pallid finale. A brilliant interpretation, that left the audience speechless.

© 2018 Takács Quartet