The program for the Arditti Quartet features new works by Clara Iannotta and Mark Andre, plus already acclaimed works by Wolfgang Rihm and György Ligeti, offering the musicians varied scope for the range of expressive palettes in contemporary string quartet compositions.
Clara Iannotta based her work on a line of verse by Dorothy Molloy: “dead wasps in the jam jar,” taking the strikingly visual image onto a different plane to produce sound. A surface, for this composer, is little more than reflection and refraction, and an enticing prospect.Compositions for string quartet produce constant dialogue between the different elements and expressive potential of the four musicians and their four instruments, and methodically change the variables. In 2011, Wolfgang Rihm composed a quartet (his thirteenth) extending the individual dimension of the four components through a panoramic approach (possibly a serial approach) to different ways of playing and different accent patterns. The result is an atmosphere of combat, a sense of urgent need conveyed through the tension created, reaching the point where the temptation to exhaust all potential sources may develop a certain spiritual force. When Mark Andre added Miniaturen für Streichquartett (iv 13) to “iv”, his soloist and chamber music cycle, he chose the letters in the words introversion and intravenous, and found a classification of different ways of having sound disappear. The works in iv 13 have references to Jesus disappearing: after he appeared to Mary Magdalene (“Do not hold on to me,” John 20, 11-18), and on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24, 13-35). The program ends with György Ligeti’s Quartet No. 2 (1968), featuring a pointillist section, followed by forceful bowing, and an entire pizzicato movement.