That the most important magazine for stringed instruments, The Strad, should liken the playing of the young Italian quartet to a beautifully cut Armani suit and has only the highest praise for their readings of Mozart and Brahms certainly confers a notable accolade on the Quartetto di Cremona. A similar effect is achieved when comparing them with the legendary Quartetto Italiano, whose violist Piero Farulli played a key role in the musical biography of the four young Italians. The violist set an example for them about what true passion in music is and the level of seriousness required when striving to bring a quartet to fruition.
The second important name which is repeatedly heard when talking with Cristiano Gualco and his fellow ensemble members is Hatto Beyerle, violist of the Alban Berg Quartet. Beyerle impressed upon the members of Quartetto di Cremona how crucial it is to carefully study the original score and introduced them to the subtleties of classical style. And this classical style, in particular the works of Joseph Haydn, still remains the point of departure and what they aspire towards in all their work: To them Haydn, as “father of the string quartet,” is the most important composer, whose endless variety, refined musical rhetoric and joy in experimentation requires the keenest listening and the utmost in precision while also inspiring them to carry on in their research and quest.
The ensemble’s personal commitment to a shared cause—something any ensemble needs in order to not only make advances in their painstaking and meticulous work but also to continue up the at times shaky rungs of the career ladder—is what the musicians describe as key areas their collaboration is based on. The result is that they are always able to summon the energy to approach each new piece of music with the same curiosity and intensity and in their regular recitals always be able to focus on the next step—and thus also on the audience sitting before them. For the quartet feels it is only when communicating with an audience that the “degree of ripeness” of a given piece they are performing can reveal itself.
This artistic and highly communicative viewpoint keeps the Quartetto di Cremona’s focused in spite of the commotion over their many international awards won in recent years at the Concorso di Cremona, “Vittorio Gui” Florence, Borletti-Buitoni and in Melbourne. After their celebrated debut at Italy’s most famous chamber music society, the Societá del Quartetto di Milano, the ensemble became quartet-in-residence with the society until 2014, with a complete Beethoven quartet cycle to culminate its residency there. The Quartet just received the renowned 11th “Web Concert Hall Competition” (USA), being the only laureate this year.
This success has resulted in concert engagements at the major concert halls of the world. Yet, none of these commendations has distracted the four musicians from simply continuing on their quest to refine their performances. For pursuing that goal propels them forward as they seek to achieve their credo—to bring audiences all the more closer to the inner beauty of music.
The Artist's Homepage: http://www.quartettodicremona.it/
String Quartets by Joseph Haydn and Béla Bartók
Haydn: String Quartet in C major, Op. 54/2,
Bartók: String Quartet in C major No. 4, Haydn: Streichquartett in G major
Quartetto di Cremona
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