“The music we play is never old or new, but always relevant and present.” After focusing on Haydn and Brahms, Amsterdam’s Dudok Quartet turn east to pair Polish Grażyna Bacewicz and Russian Dimitri Shostakovich quartets (Nos 4 and 5 respectively) with the quartet’s own arrangements of some of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes Op 34. These composers lived and worked in a time and social environment of repression and control but, although both these quartets were written in 1951, they display contrasting moods. Shostakovich demands intense physical, emotional and intellectual stamina from the players, while the Bacewicz offers an abundance of virtuosic fun and rhythmic exuberance, reflecting her original and independent spirit. The CD is released by Rubicon on 25 November.
For its debut Rubicon Classics CD, the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam has re-discovered all three Brahms String Quartets as well as, with violist Lilli Maijala, his Second String Quintet. For the first time in the recorded catalogue, this repertoire is performed on on gut strings and early Romantic bows, which allows both players and listeners to appreciate afresh these works with the subtle sonorities Brahms himself would have recognised.
In August 2019, coming together with composers Antti Auvinen and Josephine Stephenson, Borletti-Buitoni Trust artists the Dudok Quartet and recorder-player Erik Bosgraaf – as well as mezzo Michaela Reiner – workshopped a programme based on the life of Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi.
Artemisia and her dramatic story, let alone her works of art, will come into more focus with the National Gallery in London’s major exhibition devoted to her from April 2020, and the musicians were intrigued by the way she perfected the art of revenge in her paintings. This short film presents a work-in-progress snapshot as they work on a staged concert about Artemisia. The workshop was hosted in the convivial surroundings of Snape Maltings.
Read Erik Bosgraaf’s blog about the Artemisia Project workshop here
Filmed at rehearsals in Amsterdam, ahead of the first recording session for its 2-CD release on Resonus Classics of all six Haydn Op 20 quartets, the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam explores its love of these inspirational Haydn quartets. Filmed in rehearsal in Amsterdam and in The Hague with bow maker Luis Emilio Rodríguez Carrington, the Quartet’s players introduce themselves and their search for classical bows especially for this Haydn project, which lead to Luis Emilio’s door.
Volume 1, released on 27 September 2019, includes Op 20 Nos 2, 3 & 5, while Volume 2, with Nos 1, 4 & 6, will be released in May 2020.