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BBN 3: Pioneers

Solem Quartet

In the years directly preceding the completion of the First Quartet, Bartók had experienced huge upheaval in his personal life and had embarked on his lifelong dedication to the collection of folk music. Beethoven’s op. 131 – the composer’s favourite of the ‘late quartets’ – is a truly pioneering and exploratory 7-movement work. David John Roche, a winner of the BBN: Call for Scores competition, has created a piece which echoes to the energy and shock of these innovative works: he says “I want listeners to feel like they’ve had a wild, blistering experience with bold, exciting, relentlessly powerful music!”. By presenting all these works together in an hour-long playlist-form programme, the Solem Quartet gives the music of Beethoven and Bartók a truly contemporary context, highlighting their power to astonish and excite in equal measure.

David John Roche – A Prayer at the Edge of Silence
Bela Bartók – String Quartet no. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven – Quartet in C sharp minor, op. 131


To create a full evening concert, the Solem Quartet can offer a short first half. This will take the form of Unpacking BBN Live; a sort of living programme note. Unpacking BBN Live features short performance extracts, the Quartet’s insights into preparing the music and key moments within it, connections between the works performed, as well as an informal Q&A with the audience.

Further proposals
BBN 1: Night Music
Solem Quartet
BBN 2: Song & Dance
Solem Quartet
BBN 4: Experiments
Solem Quartet
BBN 5: Life Episodes
Solem Quartet
BBN 6: Coda
Solem Quartet
Mark Simpson and Simon Holt Clarinet Quintet
Three Romances
Solem Quartet
Journeys in Folk and Form
Solem Quartet
Solem Quartet and Mariam Adam (clarinet)
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