String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam
2 Feb 2024 | 2:15 pm
Bela Bartók: Quartet no. 3, BB 93
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet in B flat major, op. 133, Grosse Fugue
Ayanna Witter-Johnson: Island Suite
Laced together via the words of the archetypal experimenters, Bartók and Beethoven – in which they describe the thinking behind their respective ground breaking masterpieces – the Quartet performs Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue and Bartók’s Third Quartet before being joined on stage by Ayanna Witter-Johnson to perform her specially-composed Island Suite.
In the Grosse Fugue, Beethoven pushed boundaries creating “music that will be contemporary forever” according to Stravinsky, while Bartók’s Third Quartet sees the composer finding his true voice, channelling the Eastern-European folk music he so loved. Ayanna’s piece is a musical and narrative journey which takes inspiration from Jamaican folk song to create a work that defies genre, and tells the story of Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s ancestry.
A thought-provoking, high-energy, and cathartic presentation of music and readings, all of which combine to inform the present.