The French Diotima Quartet has by now become a force to be reckoned with among the contemporary string quartets, something they recently proved again with their recording of the complete Bartók quartets. They’ll bring fresh new work to Transit, including the latest by Oscar Bianchi. A few strings were slain in the heat of battle during their last visit here, and this year’s concert promises to be no less intense.
Oscar Bianchi (avant-premiere) / Francesca Verunelli / Luc Brewaeys
Luc Brewaeys (1959-2015) studied composition with André Laporte in Brussels, Franco Donatoni in Siena and with Brian Ferneyhough in Darmstadt. He met regularly with Iannis Xenakis in the early 1980s. He has won awards in Belgium and abroad, including the Prix de Musique Contemporaine du Québec for his complete oeuvre. Only recently, in 2013, the Flemish Classical Radio station Klara honoured him as Musician of the year.
A vocal quality, even in his instrumental work, can strike us as a prominent feature of Oscar Bianchi's music. Exuberant and intelligent, this vocal dimension plays with a refined art of accentuations in all its intermediate degrees. At its core, Bianchi's music continues to be guided by the challenge of dramaturgical and formal issues.
Francesca Verunelli studied composition and piano at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence. She went on to attend IRCAM’s courses 1 & 2 in Composition and Computer Music specializing in electronic music. She received commissions from important musical institutions and ensembles such as IRCAM, La Biennale di Venezia and Ictus Ensemble. Her music is performed in many prestigious festivals in Europe and in the US. Her work focuses on how the evolution and/or the permanence of the instrumental acoustic world affects the development of music composition’s deep structures (form and formal strategies, harmony, time-writing approaches). The focus is not sound for sound’s sake, but rather the ways through which sound can invent a unique time-form and experience for the listening.
Quatuor Diotima, a fixture in the quartet world, is especially well known among connoisseurs of 20th and 21st century music. Ten years ago, the quartet made a huge splash with their CD American Music. Since then their sound has become even more intense. We’re all waiting to hear what this approach brings to The Sinking of the Titanic, the minimalist masterpiece that the quartet is working on especially for this occasion.