As soon as the music started, I suddenly remembered how much I love classical music, and how much I miss seeing it live. A literal pang went through me- how cheesy, right?? But I do miss live theater and live music. However, this digital presentation was certainly still very enjoyable and I especially liked how different the pieces were from each other. I also really appreciated how many pieces they did, as a quartet doesn’t usually do 5 pieces in the same show!
I particularly enjoyed the two pieces by Coleridge-Taylor, Five Fantasiestücke, Op. 5 (Mvts. i, iii). They both sounded so different than pieces I have heard before, with so much more intricate tunes and a ton of interesting chords as well. The first movement I loved, and it was so rich and deep. Such a contrast to the Mozart piece that they had played before it, which sounded similar to the music I would typically expect from a string quartet. The third movement was also very unique, and I loved the way the different instruments played off of each other, creating different tunes that sounded so nice together. It also had such a beautiful contrast between slower, sweeter parts and high, excited ones. I love when a piece can bring together two very different paces of music and still make them sound like such a coherent work.
I also especially liked the Debussy piece, Quartet (Mvts. iii, iv), as I always enjoy pieces written by him. I really like impressionist composers, and his music is very familiar to me. Many people know him for Clair De Lune, but he has several other pretty famous pieces as well. The interaction of the different instruments really made the music interesting, especially in the start of the third movement, which was so languorous and gentle. It made me imagine sitting on the front porch after a long day, watching the sun set with a cup of tea in your hand and your dog at your feet- that is to say, very peaceful. The fourth movement was so powerful and quick-moving, and you could even see this in the physical movements of the players as they moved their whole bodies with the music. I loved as the instruments separated into their own parts, and then came back together in unison several times to form such beautiful harmonies. The swell at the ending of the fourth movement into its finale was probably my favorite part of the performance.
Overall, this was a gorgeous set done by the Takás Quartet. Each was so unique and distinct, and I love when a group does many shorter pieces so I get to experience more artists and works of music. The digital presentation is streaming through Saturday October 24, so go watch it if you see this in time!
Link to the presentation: https://ums.org/digital-presentations/