November 16, 1998
Volume 51, No. 12
World-renowned Guarneri quartet brings its strings to Emory
The Guarneri String Quartet, one of the most revered quartets in the world today, will bring its virtuosity and style to Emory on Friday, Nov. 20.
The group's longevity--they have been together since 1964, longer than any other string quartet in existence--makes it possible for the ensemble to create elegant, expressive music. "[They have] the ability to listen to each other and play almost with a single voice," the Chicago Sun-Times said earlier this year.
The group has established its international reputation not only for precise and skillful playing but for the expressiveness and subtlety of its interpretations. Rarely do classical music critics gush, but performances by the Guarneri String Quartet in the past year have earned such praise as: "The performance was as good as the music, which is as good as music ever gets." (The Washington Post, in reference to Schubert's "Death and the Maiden"); "they played like angels" (The Los Angeles Times); and "The Guarneri Quartet is quite possibly the most distinguished string quartet in the solar system." (Salt Lake Tribune).
The quartet, consisting of violinist Arnold Steinhardt, violinist John Dalley, violist Michael Tree and cellist David Soyer, has more than 30 recordings on the Philips and Arabesque labels, including award-winning recordings of Arriaga's String Quartets Nos. 1-3 and collaborations with Artur Rubinstein, Pinchas Zukerman, and Boris Kroyt and Mischa Schneider of the Budapest Quartet. Their most recent release is Schubert's Quartets Nos. 13 in A Minor, Op. 29, and 14 in D Minor, D. 810 ("Death and the Maiden").
How does a group achieve such excellence? Hard work and collaboration, according to Steinhardt. "There will be hours and hours of brute labor involved in the technical problems of intonation, ensemble and the critical shadings of four like-sounding instruments," he said. "More important will be the uncharted process in which four people let their individual personalities shine while finding a unified quartet voice." The resulting interpretation is what Steinhardt referred to as "that almost mystical amalgam of the four players that hovers somewhere between their music stands."