This week, Spektral gives its first-ever performance of Elliott Carter's String Quartet No. 2 at the National Pastime Theater. I've now had two separate incidents of someone asking me if we decided to play this monumental work after learning of Carter's death. I only wish I traveled with the score, so as to quickly (and passive-aggressively) answer their query. Unpacking this piece, with all it's hocket-ed composite rhythms and wickedly-challenging passagework, has been an experience equally frustrating and gratifying for us. This is Carter, though. That's what HE DOES.
The title of the show is a quote from the man himself, that reads: "An auditory scenario for the players to act out with their instruments." It is not specifically tied to Quartet No. 2, but it closely parallels the individuality of each part, or character, around which Carter wrote this score. Aurelien's imaginative synopsis of the "plot" will be included in the program, and each of us will offer descriptions from the stage of who we feel our character is.
I thought I'd preempt Wednesday's show by giving you my (unauthorized by my quartet-mates) film analogies to these personalities. The concert is BYOB, so with enough rye in your flask, these will make perfect sense…
Tickets are $5 cheaper in advance. See you on Wednesday!