Unorthodox canon of the Stringquartet

Premiere January 31, 2020, Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Amsterdam

Each festival edition features a concert on the Friday evening that breaks with all conventions: a staged, spectacularly unique event of unprecedented length that provides the string quartet a new canvas to play with. Eight works for string quartet – each more unorthodox than the other – with Different Trains and Cadenza on the Night Plain as the programme’s two main focal points. In the stage direction by Annechien Koerselman the audience experiences - both aurally and visually - a musical journey through a dangerous world, which transforms even into a completely desolate state. Yet at a given time nature fights back and eventually wins. In part 1 of this four-hour musicaltheatrical evening the audience is witnessing a world in turmoil. In part 2 one even has landed in an apocalyptic era, in which only glimmers some hope at the time of Gorecki's music sounds. Part 3 presents actually what happens after each Apocalypse: slowly life and color are brought back in the deserted existence. In part 4, finally the sky opens up, supported by the sometimes jazzy country-style of Riley, as if a lot of beautiful things are germinated and take off. 

Embark on a four-hour journey exploring humanity and human endeavour – destruction, beauty, emotion and their natural limits. The journey takes in five substantial but highly unusual works of the string quartet canon: Fratres by Arvo Pärt, Different Trains by Steve Reich, Górecki’s second stringquartet, Structures for String Quartet by Morton Feldman and Cadenza on the Night Plain by Terry Riley.

26 OntheNightPlain

Photo © Ben Bonouvrier

Credits Cast & Crew

 Video © Stringquartetbiennale

Sneakafterview of the Calder Quartet playing Terry Riley's Cadenza on the night plain at 0.40am, as part of the theatrical concert On the Night Plain at the String Quartet Biennale 2020 in Amsterdam

 Video © Calder Quartet

Building up set and light for the theatrical Concert On the Night Plain during the night of January 31 2020 at Muziekgebouw ah IJ Amsterdam.

 Video © Strijkquartetbiënnale

Photos On the Night Plain © Ben Bonouvrier

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