SQ recital at Alice Tully Hall receives best of 2017 in NYC
Classical Review December 20, 2017:
The Chamber Music Society excels at variety, usually by arranging a mix of ensembles from among its roster of season artists. This year, a celebrity visa from the Shanghai Quartet made for CMS’s most rewarding program of the year, an eclectic program that offered music by Haydn, Dvorak, and Frank Bridge, plus a harrowing, sweat-inducing reading of Penderecki’s String Quartet No.3
A review from our concert in Lincoln Nebraska 9/27/15
Lincoln Journal Star:
As part of the Chinese Culture Festival at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Shanghai Quartet presented arrangements of Chinese folk music paired with Romantic-era string quartets Sunday afternoon at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The Shanghai Quartet boasts an impressive long-term international reputation and has recorded more than 30 albums. The quartet consists of first violinist, Weigang Li; second violinist, Yi-Wen Jiang; violist Honggang Li; and cellist, Nicholas Tzavaras.
Mendelssohn’s “String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80″ opened the program. The first crescendo of quick and precise passagework was meticulously together. Of particular note was the accelerando at the end of the first movement, which was well-together and perfectly timed. The dance character of the second movement was exceptional as well.
Next were selections from one of the group’s most popular albums, “China Song,” which featured a delightful set of traditional Chinese folk songs, arranged for string quartet by their second violinist Yi-Wen Jiang. The avant-garde “Song of the Ch’in” (1982) by Zhou Long opened the second half. This piece featured clicking, tapping and glissando effects which resembled the “Ch’in,” a traditional Chinese instrument.
Last on the program was Grieg’s “String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27.” The ensemble really captured the sense of drama to the piece. The cello feature at the end of the first movement was quite remarkable. Overall, the quartet maintained a great sense of balance, blend and clarity to the rousing finish at the end.
For an encore the Shanghai Quartet presented another arrangement of a Chinese folk tune, a serene picturesque piece with cadenzas resembling bird calls. The group was very well-received, a sparkling jewel to the UNL Chinese Culture Festival..
A review from the Casals Festival in Prades, France, 8/2015
For those who do fancy the concept, the Shanghai Quartet recently recorded the controversial Fourth Piano Concerto arrangement, recorded live and in studio with some wonderful playing by the Lithuanian pianist Muza Rubackytė; the result is warmly appealing and quite overwhelming in times in its intimate distillation of Beethoven’s large-scale outpouring of song.
The evening’s pièce de résistance was inevitably the Shanghai Quartet’s Beethoven’s intensely serious laying out of the succession of terse, epigrammatic bits and pieces of melody and absolute fury that is the shortest of composer’s 16 full-fledged quartets, revealing rather than forcing, letting the music speak from the composer’s burning heart and keenly analytical head, in the city where after his self-imposed exile from Franco’s Spain, Casals continued to keep music’s spirit burning pure and bright.
Shanghai Quartet becomes cultural ambassadors
A lovely article in the local paper in Syracuse NY in anticipation of our upcoming visit to the Skaneateles Festival!!
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