Tag Archives: Video

Visualisation

These are two videos produced by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. They are fine examples of what’s possible when the visual and musical arts are sympathetically combined. The artist shown at work is Zack Smithey. The music is the final two movements of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, one of the masterpieces of the Twentieth Century. The performers are David Shifrin (clarinet), Daniel Hope (violin), Paul Watkins (cello) and Gilbert Kalish (piano).

Ebène Quartet video

When the Quatuor Ebène was signed to Virgin Classics in early 2008. Alain Lanceron, the label’s President, said: “The Quatuor Ebène is the embodiment of the modern string quartet. The extraordinary way its members craft their sonority, their re-examination of quartet masterpieces, their readiness to engage with music beyond the traditional repertoire, their innovative and creative approach: all these factors have led us to invite them to add their lustre to Virgin Classics’ roster of artists. We welcome them with enthusiasm – the same kind of enthusiasm they bring to everything they do.”

Formed in France in 1999, the Quatuor Ebène took its name from ebony, the precious and exotic wood used in instrument-making. The award-winning ensemble has since achieved an enviable international reputation for refined, dynamic musicianship, minutely responsive teamwork, an adventurous spirit and even a taste for improvisation. The Quartet’s repertoire ranges from Haydn and Mozart, cornerstones of the Classical repertoire, through the 19th and 20th centuries to contemporary composers and jazz.

The Quatuor Ebène’s debut recording on Virgin Classics brings together the string quartets of the three emblematic French composers of the late 19th and early 20tb centuries: Fauré, Debussy and Ravel. The Debussy and Ravel quartets represent a traditional pairing in the catalogue, but they have rarely been coupled with the Fauré, his final work, composed in his late seventies. As it happens, Ravel dedicated his own quartet to Fauré, who was his teacher.

Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice December 2008
BBC Radio 3 ‘Building a Library’: 1st Choice, March 2009
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2009: Newcomer of the Year

The reviews, the general critical acclaim, the awards — all of that immediately attracted me to this recording of string quartets by Ravel, Debussy and Fauré. Watching this 16-minute video was the final icing on the cake which made me do what’s now a very rare thing and order a physical CD. It’s coming from Presto Classical, which is where the blurb and the video come from. I’m looking forward to its arrival.