In the second episode of Hear and Now’s “The Arditti Quartet at 40” a performance of Wolfgang Rihm’s Fetzen and Fetzen 2 will be broadcast. The quartet was recorded earlier this year during a three concert marathon at the Barbican Centre’s Milton Court. The programme is presented by Ivan Hewett.
More Universal Edition radio highlights are available on our Performance Calendar.
Exactly 40 years ago, on 7 March 1974, the Arditti Quartet performed their first concert ever at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Since then, they have given more than 2000 concerts and premièred a significant amount of works from the UE catalogue, the latest of which were Wolfgang Rihm’s Epilog at the Eclat Festival and Luke Bedford’s Wonderful Four-Headed Nightingale at Wien Modern.
Irvine Arditti, the founder of the quartet, has talked to Karsten Witt about the Arditti Quartet’s long and rich history. You can find the full conversation here.
The first major event to celebrate the Quartet’s anniversary takes place on 26 April at the Barbican.
Congratulations from all of us!
The composer about the piece:
This piece is a reworking of my Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale for violin, viola and fifteen players. The original title was taken from a 19th century poster advertising a pair of singing conjoined twins: Millie and Christine McCoy. They were born in slavery in 1851, sold to a showman, and yet managed to escape the fate of many performers at freak shows and built a relatively normal life for themselves. Something of their story and the poster intrigued me, and I found parallels with the music I was trying to write. From early on in the composition process I knew that the two soloists would be forced to play either identical or very similar music for most of the piece. I felt the tension between their combined, unified sound and their desire to break free from one another could be richly exploited. But I also knew that they would never be successful in tearing free. They would remain as locked together at the end of the piece as they were at the start.
Luke Bedford: Wonderful Four-Headed
for string quartet | 9'
world prem. 28.10.2013, Konzerthaus, Vienna; Arditti String Quartet
At the 2012 Musiques Biennale en Scène in Lyon, Johannes Maria Staud’s work for string quartet and orchestra, Über trügerische Stadtpläne und die Versuchungen der Winternächte (Dichotomie II), is given its French première.
Pascal Rophé conducts the Arditti Quartet and the Orchestre National de Lyon (1 March).
We move into the final weekend of the 5e Biennale de quatuors à cordes at the Cité de la musique in Paris, with three Rihm string quartets on the programme today.
It’s day 6 of the 5e Biennale de quatuors à cordes at the Cité de la musique in Paris.
It’s day 5 of the 5e Biennale de quatuors à cordes at the Cité de la musique in Paris.
Full score of String Quartet No. 1
Full score of String Quartet No. 8