Saturday, 20 February 2016

Shostakovich reflections!

A few months have passed since the end of out Shostakovich15 project and we have had a chance to reflect on the incredible journey we have been on.
The experience of living so intensely with the fifteen quartets was, at times, overwhelming and we were privileged to share it with so many friends and supporters.
The marathon day at the Sam Wanamaker theatre was an obvious highlight and we recently found out that we got through over 400 handmade candles that day!
Another highlight has to be taking the cycle to Colombia for the first time ever and introducing Shostakovich's quartets to a whole new audience.
So a big thank you to everyone who came on the journey with us and we look forward to seeing what 2016 will bring!

 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

From Cork to New York!

Towards the end of the year, we’ve enjoyed giving numerous concerts, both across the UK and abroad, including our final two intensive Shostakovich cycles, at the Cork School of Music and at the beautiful Phillips Collection in Washington DC. While in the US, we also performed in New York and travelled to Montreal, where we gave a concert in the glorious Bourgie Hall. At the end of 2015, we will look back at our epic Shostakovich 15 project with great satisfaction and we thank everyone for their fantastic support throughout the year.
We will be rounding off the year with a performance for Cheltenham Music Society (including the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with Julius Drake). We hope to see you there!
(Photo by Eoin!)

Friday, 9 October 2015

Aldeburgh and Cardiff!

We’ve had an amazing and incredibly busy few weeks. Our Shostakovich cycles in Aldeburgh and Cardiff (on consecutive weekends!) were a great success and we were very moved by the amazing audience reaction to both. We have now completed five intensive cycles this year and look forward to the next instalments in Cork and Washington DC!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Shostakovich in Colombia!

We had a fanstastic trip to Colombia in August, where we performed the first ever Colombian Shostakovich cycle! There were performances in the Teatro Mayor and the Luis Angel Arango Library (pictured) in Bogota and we travelled to Neiva, where we performed the complete cycle and also had the opportunity to work with some wonderful young Colombian music students.

 
The students were mostly from the 'Batuta' school (a bit like the 'El Sistema' of Venezuela) and from the Huila Youth Philarmonic, a great young group instructed by talented conductor Diego Barbosa-Vasquez.
 
                                    
 
 
And here is their thank you video!! 
 


Thursday, 13 August 2015

***** star reviews for complete Shostakovich cycles!

We're delighted that the complete Shostakovich cycles at the Globe in London, and as part of the Cheltenham Festival have gone so well. The audience support has been amazing throughout. In fact Erica Jeal at the Guardian wrote, 'Between the later quartets it was as if the audience was cheering them around the last laps of a marathon.'! 
Thanks so much to all who came and supported us. Reviews have been great! Here's a selection of quotes and you can read full reviews here.

The Guardian *****
 'truly extraordinary stamina in a musical marathon', 'astonishing intensity', 'once in a lifetime event'.

BachTrack *****
'Utterly absorbing', 'High octane, turbo-charged playing', 'The Allegro non troppo was fabulously aggressive, full of iron pizzicatos and flying bow-hair.'

Birmingham Post *****
'truly awesome', 'skill which makes light of the huge technical demands', 'a triumph'

Seen and Heard International
'Dazzling aplomb and accuracy', 'magnificent tribute', 'electrifying'.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Complete Shostakovich Quartets at the Globe

Just 2 days to go to our marathon performance at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre at Shakespeare's Globe in London. It's just been selected as a top thing to do to celebrate Shostakovich's anniversary:
http://www.classical-music.com/article/top-three-remembering-Shostakovich

Just a handful of tickets remaining here:
http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/theatre/whats-on/concerts-by-candlelight/Shostakovich

And in the mean time here's a snippet from our recent rehearsal there, including some of the 2nd quartet.
We look forward to seeing you soon!


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Review of our first Shostakovich cycle in Cheltenham!

Shostakovich Quartet Cycle, Carducci Quartet at Syde Manor - Cheltenham Festival 29/06/15 

These young people perform with an empathy which is truly awesome, and with a skill which makes light of the huge technical demands Shostakovich imposes upon his players. The Tithe Barn at Syde Manor, nestling deep in the Cotswolds between Birdlip Hill and Cirencester, is a gem of a venue. It's comfortable, airy, and has a fabulous acoustic. This year's Cheltenham Music Festival pre-launched itself in style with a brave traverse through all 15 of Shostakovich's string quartets played with engaging enthusiasm, emotional commitment, and awesome physical stamina by the charming and immensely gifted Carducci Quartet. These young people perform with an empathy which is truly awesome (eye-contact is rarely needed), and with a skill which makes light of the huge technical demands Shostakovich imposes upon his players, whether in taking them up to the stratospheres, or digging through repeated note-patterns, or creating the quasi-orchestral textures set up by hugely taxing multiple-stopping over varied note-values. Their odyssey was a triumph, and such a concentrated trawl brought an awareness of both the consistency and variety of Shostakovich's language, as well as the references to his output in other formats. We sympathised with his political perils during the Stalinist regime, we grasped his gradual influencing by Jewish music, and all the time we admired the strength of his indomitable character, sardonic, witty and despairing, all conveyed by the remarkable Carduccis.
Christopher Morley - Birmingham Post