fri 05/06/2020

Arditti Quartet, Bath Festival | reviews, news & interviews

Arditti Quartet, Bath Festival

Arditti Quartet, Bath Festival

Specialists in the unplayable play Beethoven, Birtwistle and Schnittke

The Arditti Quartet: specialists in the unplayablePhilippe Gontier

To launch a music festival with the Arditti Quartet, as Bath has just almost done (a pair of dance events preceded them), is a bold enough gesture, if no bolder than for the Arditti to open up their Assembly Rooms concert with Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge – a finisher if ever there was one. But for this particular group, late Beethoven might well seem like a kind of starting point. Beethoven was the first to write unplayable music for string quartet; and the Arditti have always specialised in the unplayable.

To launch a music festival with the Arditti Quartet, as Bath has just almost done (a pair of dance events preceded them), is a bold enough gesture, if no bolder than for the Arditti to open up their Assembly Rooms concert with Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge – a finisher if ever there was one. But for this particular group, late Beethoven might well seem like a kind of starting point. Beethoven was the first to write unplayable music for string quartet; and the Arditti have always specialised in the unplayable.

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters