Munich, Germany. Konservatorium in Bern, Switzerland. Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven, Netherlands. These are the next stops for the acclaimed Brentano String Quartet as they embark on a whirlwind European Tour, performing the same program performed on Feb. 8th and 9th at Off the Hook Arts’ (OtHA) WinterFest music festival in Colorado.
However, when on their international tour, performing in famous concert halls, you won’t have the chance to see them in such intimate and personal spaces. And definitely not for $25 a ticket. Only Off the Hook Arts provides this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience these exalted musicians, heralded for their “passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding (sounds),” raves the London Independent.
The quartet, founded in 1992, has developed a reputation as one of the finest ensembles of today. Extolled by the New York Times as having a “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.” Always compelling, their unique programming this season features music in f minor by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich plus the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Coiled, based on Beethoven’s F Minor quartet “Serioso” Opus 95.
“The concert made it clear that these players could well be the best of the latest generation. Their level of individual technique was superb, while musical dialog necessary for rich chamber music was evident from first to last.” — Philadelphia Inquirer
The program starts with a Bach Prelude, introducing f minor as a key that admits little light, closed-in and dense. It continues with Op. 95 (“Serioso”), wherein Beethoven wrote a work that is compact and brutal. When the Brentano Quartet approached Bruce Adolphe to write a work inspired by Beethoven, he answered immediately: “Opus 95: so many nuggets of genius: the unhinged rhythmic knots, the scales off the cliff’s edge, muttering, the gnashing of molars!” The result is his new work, “Coiled,” commissioned by OtHA for the Brentano this season.
The Brentano’s fame has progressed to the silver screen as highlighted during WinterFest on Wednesday, Feb. 5th at the screening of A Late Quartet. Having provided the musical backdrop to the film, the quartet’s notoriety continues to reach a diverse audience as now infamous cellist, Nina Lee, makes a featured appearance in the film as the cellist that saves the final performance of the featured fictional string quartet, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken. The evening is hosted by Artistic Director Bruce Adolphe for greater insight on the film, music, and to answer questions.
Tickets and further details can be found on Offthehookarts.org/winterfest.
Written by Isabella Mead