Bartók’s sixth and final quartet was written in 1939, at a time when the composer was watching Europe collapse with the unfolding catastrophe of World War II. Each movement begins with a theme marked “Mesto” (sad) and this theme’s first utterance notably ends with three notes directly quoted from Beethoven’s final quartet, op. 135, under which Beethoven wrote “Muss es sein?” (Must it be?). Yet despite this sadness, within both works are moments of profound hope. Bushra El-Turk’s music is often defined by the integration of musics and musicians from different cultural traditions and in this one-hour playlist-form programme, the Solem Quartet expand to a quintet, with the addition of a Kamancheh or Qaychak player, proving the ever-evolving nature of the string quartet, and the power of music to unite.
|Bushra El-Turk – New Work|
|Bela Bartók – Quartet no. 6, BB 119|
|Ludwig van Beethoven – Quartet no. 16 in F major, op. 135|
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.