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Online festival 2021
Quadra Piano Quartet (Latvia)

Sat, May 1, 19:00
Online from Riga, National Library of Latvia

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Quadra Piano Quartet (Latvia)

Rihards Plešanovs – piano
Arvīds Zvagulis – violin
Pēteris Trasuns – violin
Kārlis Klotiņš – cello

Open chat

Baltic Fantasies

Gundega Šmite (*1977, Latvia) – Six Fantasies After Latvian Folk Songs (2020, premiere, dedicated to Quadra)

Tõnis Kaumann (*1971) – Piano Quartet Instructions for Life (2002, premiere), III movement

Andris Dzenītis (*1978, Latvia) – 3 in 4 (2020, dedicated to Quadra)

Arvydas Malcys (*1957, Lithuania) – The Snow Hyacinth (2019, dedicated to Quadra)

 

Six Fantasies after the Latvian Folk songs (Sešas fantāzijas par latviešu tautas dziesmām) for violin, viola, cello, piano (dedicated to Quadra and my grandmother Anitra Pārupe (1924–2020). I grew up in a family where folk-songs were part of the everyday babysitting routine. Therefore it was my first musical experience. Now, with a time distance both as a person and as a composer I have a different view of those songs.  In “Six Fantasies after the Latvian Folk Songs” I am returning to my roots and reinterpreting them from a different perspective. Each Fantasie is more than just a paraphrase. It is a free interpretation of the song while using the main motives of each tune. (Gundega Šmite)

The piano quartet Instructions for Life (2002) was written for the Norwegian ensemble STEM, but somehow the piece was never performed. This premiere could bear the subtitle “20 years later”. (Tõnis Kaumann)

“3 in 4” is one part of cycle of three pieces: “4 in 3” for piano trio, “3 in 4” for piano quartet and “7 in 7” for septet (combining both ensembles) without special, unifying title. These three pieces are abstractly emotional compositions. A distant inspiration for them is spiritual monolith of colors in Mark Rothko’s late works. Spatially – somebody or something missing between three, redundant between four, common between seven. Gone shadows, the unknown, direct emotionality. The compositions seem to be united by cyclic form, thematic relationships, but they can also behave as completely independent organisms. “4 in 3”, “3 in 4” and “7 in 7” are stops at imaginary timeline, where you can travel, return, glimpse somewhere else, but always stay there. If the works are played in one concert, it is advisable to insert another author’s pieces of any length between them. It is also allowed to play pieces individually. 3 in 4 is dedicated to piano quartet Quadra. (Andris Dzenītis)

Piano quartet The Snow Hyacinth (2012), dedicated to Emilija. Hyacinth – this is poets and gods flower, Blooming very first year. Creative design – a recurring archetypal geometric form, a kind of crescent, wheels, spirals, pyramids… They, like the rest of the space, filled with elements reminiscent of the musical traditions of home… Work leitmotiv revolves a vicious circle, lacking a beginning or an end. Perceived postmodern life is like a game of the past images, forms generation. Intonations and forms scale migrates from the sentimental lyricism to the playful Scherzo, from the minimalistic pointillism to the tonal themes … (Arvydas Malcys)

 

The exceptionally talented piano quartet Quadra is one of the most rapidly rising professional music collectives in Latvia. The repertoire of Quadra includes music from different eras, with special focus on the chamber music of contemporary and Latvian composers. The quartet often premieres and performs works by Pēteris Vasks, Imants Zemzars, Tālivalds Ķeniņš, Jānis Ķepītis, Agra Engelmāns, Andris Dzenītis, Oskars Herliņš, Armands Skuķis, Vineta Līce and Juris Karlsons. The ensemble’s concert “Ķeniņš un Quadra” on November 30, 2019 at the New Music Festival “Arena” was nominated for the Latvian “Grand Music Award 2019” in the category “Concert of the Year”. Musicologist Armands Znotins has said about Quadra: “Without the piano quartet Quadra, Latvian chamber music would be much poorer. They perform new works by Latvian composers while remaining true to already established values; they maintain a dialogue between these scores and the performance of foreign avant-garde, occasionally glancing at the older and more classical past.”

The concert will be broadcasted by EMP TV and recorded by Baltic Contemporary Music Network.

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