String Quartet No 4

2003

by Jonathan Harvey


Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, St Paul’s Hall, 24 November 2003 (UK premiere) Arditti Quartet/Jonathan Harvey & Gilbert Nouno (sound diffusion) ‘…the real transcendence on the programme came in Jonathan Harvey's String Quartet No 4, written for the Ardittis, and another British premiere. Combined throughout with live electronics, the players were the catalysts for a musical journey that revealed the minutiae of instrumental sound. The tiny noises they made by brushing the outside of their instruments were amplified into vivid electronic fantasies. The piece finally blossomed with an outpouring of voluptuous melody: music that eroded the difference between the live players and their electronic shadows. ‘ The Guardian (Tom Service), 26 November 2003 ‘Jonathan Harvey's String Quartet No 4 was a British premiere, and one with the feel of a major artistic event. At one level it is a spellbinding demonstration of how to integrate live instruments with real-time electronics. More importantly, that feels the only medium in which the music's spiritual aspirations could have been realised. These days, an ecstatic, trance-like conclusion comes relatively cheap; but Harvey's feels entirely earned and, like the Arditti's magnificent playing, quite beyond criticism.’ Daily Telegraph (David Fanning), 26 November 2003


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