A fresh approach to Beethoven and the Baroque: in this new concert, the Quartetto Prometeo—a vibrant group of young musicians—presents inventive transcriptions by some of Italy’s best-known living composers.
The quartet’s cellist, Francesco Dillon, performs these works on a 1682 Stradivarius from the Musical Instrument Museum in the Accademia Musicale Chigiana; the Museum is housed in the 14th-century Palazzo Chigi-Saracini in Siena, which is where this concert was recorded.
At the midpoint of the concert is Beethoven’s visionary masterpiece, the Op. 95 Serioso; the transcriptions before and after it in the program offer new ways to hear these pieces:
Johann Sebastian Bach: “Contrapunctus 1” from Die Kunst der Fugue BWV 1080 Salvatore Sciarrino (after Domenico Scarlatti): “Allegrissimo” (da Sonata in Re minore K.120) from L’esercizio della stravaganza Ivan Fedele (after Gesualdo da Venosa): “...qui transitis per viam” György Kurtag: “Secreta” Funeral Music in memoriam László Dobszay Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 95 in F minor “Serioso” György Kurtag: “Aus der Ferne V” – Alfred Schlee in memoriam (1999) Francesco Filidei (after Giovanni Maria Trabaci): “Consonanze Stravaganti” Francesco Filidei (after Tarquinio Merula): “Ciaccona” Stefano Scodanibbio (after Johann Sebastian Bach): “Contrapunctus 1 – Reinvention”
“The Prometeo’s performances are muscular and driven, delivered with glowing confidence, astonishingly precise, full of wit and vibrant life…. high-definition performances that look deep inside the music” —David Kettle, The Strad
“An experience of life-changing beauty…. By turns restful, startling, and heart-stoppingly beautiful….. emotionally rich and rewarding” —Rick Anderson, CDHotList.com
This concert, commissioned by the Italian Academy and produced in collaboration with Accademia Musicale Chigiana – Siena, was performed and recorded in Spring 2021.
The quartet, winner of the 50th “Prague Spring International Music Competition” in 1998, was also awarded the “Special Bärenreiter Prize for Best Performance of Mozart’s Quartet K590 based on the Original Score,” the “City of Prague” award as best quartet, and the “Pro Harmonia Mundi” prize.
Quartetto Prometeo was appointed resident quartet, from 1998 to 1999, at the Britten Pears Academy in Aldeburgh and was awarded the “Thomastik Infeld” prize at the International Summer Academy Prag-Wien-Budapest in 1999 for “outstanding interpretation of a chamber music work.” It won second prize at the Concours International de Quatuors of that year in Bordeaux and, in 2000, the Special Bärenreiter Prize at the ARD Munich Competition.
In 2012 it was honored to receive the Leone d’Argento, one of the highest distinctions in music in Italy, at the Venice Biennale.
They have been invited, with great public and critical success, to the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Musikverein, Wigmore Hall, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival, The Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Società del Quartetto of Milan, the Amici della Musica of Florence, and have toured in North and South America, Japan, Russia, and the Netherlands.
The Quartetto Prometeo enjoys collaborating with colleagues and friends—Mario Brunello, David Geringas, Veronika Hagen, Alexander Lonquich, Enrico Pace, the Belcea Quartet, Enrico Bronzi, Mariangela Vacatello, Antonii Baryshevskyi, and Lilya Zilberstein.
Particularly rewarding have been the artistic relationships with composers Salvatore Sciarrino, Ivan Fedele, and Stefano Gervasoni, whose compositions they have recorded for ECM, Sony, and Brilliant.
Since 2013, they have been quartet in residence at the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, collaborating with the composition class of Salvatore Sciarrino. In 2018, they taught in the project Casa del Quartetto, organized by the Foundation Theaters of the Borciani Festival of Reggio Emilia.