NPR’s music blog Deceptive Cadence will be featuring classical concerts all week from the ongoing Savannah Music Festival.
Today’s post by Tom Huizenga — Takacs Quartet: A Slice Of Schubert And A Bartok Palindrome — begins this way:
The Takács Quartet traveled to the Savannah Music Festival to play Bela Bartók’s knotty, challenging String Quartet No. 4. But how did they warm up the crowd? With a slice of insistent, lyrical Schubert.
In December 1820, the 23-year-old Schubert began writing a new string quartet. He got through the opening Allegro and a few bars of the second movement, but that’s where it ended. Although it’s unfinished, the orphaned piece has led a successful life alone under the name Quartettsatz, or Movement for String Quartet. Consider it a musical IOU for the fully realized string quartets Schubert would write in his final years. Groups like the Takács find its combination of intensity and melody irresistible.
Playing Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 must be like revisiting an old friend for the Takács Quartet. The players, especially founding members Károly Schranz and András Fejér, have kept all six of Bartók’s quartets active in their repertoire for decades.
You can click on the link above and launch NPR’s music player from the post.
This is obviously great PR for Savannah generally, in addition to the SMF specifically.