Quatuor Danel "Achingly Beautiful" in Weinberg Cycle
The Quatuor Danel undertook one of its most ambitious projects recently: the first performance of the complete string quartet cycle of Mieczysław Weinberg in the United States. The Washington Post declared the cycle “one of the greatest music events in Washington this year” and described how “the four players of the Quatuor threw themselves into each piece with a life-or-death, seize-you-by-the-throat approach that demanded the attention and thrilled the senses, whether in searingly fierce unison chords in the Third Quartet or in the achingly beautiful melodic phrases rising from the first violin in the Second.” Taking place over three consecutive weekends, the cycle represents a significant moment for the Quartet as well as for the music world.
The Danel spent many of their formative years in Russia, where they became friends with Weinberg’s widow. At that point, many of his quartets – he wrote seventeen – had never left the USSR; Mrs. Weinberg gave the Danel these handwritten manuscripts, and it was from them that the group learned the works. They were not the first to fall for his incredible music: Shostakovich, an unflinching supporter, wrote his sixth quartet for Weinberg. Interestingly, while Shostakovich always strived to be politically neutral, the one documented time he broke that tendency was to vehemently defend Weinberg to the Kremlin when he got into trouble with censors.
The Danel has championed Weinberg’s work for twenty years, has premiered a number of the quartets, and is one of his most passionate and skilled interpreters.
Read the full review here: http://bit.ly/weinbergcycle