The Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle Opens to Rave Reviews

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The Ariel Quartet‘s complete tour of Beethoven’s string quartets commenced last evening and the opening performance of The Cycle was met with rave reviews!

In her write-up for Music in Cincinnati, Mary Ellyn Hutton writes, “Evident at once in any performance by the Ariel Quartet are the differing personalities of its members. Kazovsky is sweeping and demonstrative. Gershon is pointed and elegant. Violist Grüning radiates confidence and control, while cellist Even-Tov is animated, with facial expressions to match. And how beautifully they come together to make music.” Read the full review here.

In her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Janelle Gelfand writes, “One could marvel at their pinpoint attack and cutoffs, performed for maximum dramatic effect, sometimes with flinging bows. The slow movement was phrased with profound beauty, and the players breathed together as one.” Read the full review here.

iSPYCiNCY.com also provides a video teaser for “The Cycle” in its recap of CCM’s Moveable Feast. Watch the video here.

Earlier this week, CityBeat published an in-depth feature on the Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle. Read the full article here.

“The Cycle” continues at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 Thursday, Feb. 20. Learn more about the performance here.

CCM News

The Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle Commences With Series-Opening Concerts on Jan. 23 and 25!

From left to right: Amit Even-Tov, Jan Grüning, Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov are the Ariel Quartet. Photography by Saverio Truglia.

From left to right: Amit Even-Tov, Jan Grüning, Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov are the Ariel Quartet. Photography by Saverio Truglia.

CCM proudly presents the opening concerts of the Ariel Quartet’s first complete Beethoven Cycle on Thursday, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 Thursday, Feb. 20. Both performances begin at 8 p.m. in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

Through the course of this six-part concert series – otherwise known as “The Cycle” – CCM’s acclaimed string quartet-in-residence will perform all 17 of Ludwig van Beethoven’s string quartets. Taken as a whole, these works are widely regarded as the greatest achievement in the history of western chamber music.

The program for the Ariel Quartet’s series-opening concert on Thursday, Jan. 23, includes Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1; String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95 (“Serioso”); and String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127.

The Saturday, Jan. 25, Thursday, Feb. 20 program includes Beethoven’s String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2; String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 (“Razumovsky”); and String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135.

The quartet debated about how to present “The Cycle,” whether to play it in chronological order or to break it apart and program works from different periods into each concert, members explain.

Beethoven’s life and works are frequently divided into three general periods: a formative period lasting until around 1802, a middle period lasting until around 1812 and a transcendent third or late period lasting until 1827. For their first complete cycle, the members of the Ariel Quartet decided to present one composition from each period during each concert. Every concert in “The Cycle” will open with one of Beethoven’s Opus 18 quartets, the first set of string quartets he composed during his early period.

The members of the Quartet explain, “Most concerts will present three works in chronological order, offering audiences a rare opportunity to listen to all three periods back to back. We feel this will allow each concert to showcase the development of Beethoven as a composer, enabling our audience to experience this music to its fullest.”

“It’s not often that we have the opportunity to experience the complete oeuvre of a creative individual’s output,” observes Peter Landgren, dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM, who worked closely with the Ariel Quartet to plan this concert series. “‘The Cycle’ provides just such an opportunity.”

“The Cycle” will be held in UC’s acoustically stunning Corbett Auditorium with performances scheduled for 8 p.m. on Jan. 23 and 25, Feb. 20 and 22, as well as March 25, 27 and 29, 2014.

CCM News

CCM’s Aquarius String Quartet Advances to Fischoff Competition Quarter Finals

Congratulations to the members of the Aquarius String Quartet (Yabing Tan, Yang Liu, Qin Li, Christoph Sassmannshaus) on advancing to the quarter finals in the college division of this year’s Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. These live rounds will start on May 11 in South Bend, Indiana.

Last May, the Polaris String Quartet from CCM’s Starling Project were awarded the first prize in the junior division of the competition.

Founded in 1973 in South Bend, Indiana, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition has grown to become the largest chamber music competition in the world, and one of the most prestigious classical music prizes attainable today. Since its founding, more than 5,000 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.

CCM News Student Salutes

Starling Chamber Orchestra’s Josh Halpern Takes Top Honors at MTNA Senior String Competition

Congratulations to Josh Halpern, who won top honors at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Senior String Competition.

Halpern, 17, is a junior at Oakwood High School. He is principal cellist of the Starling Chamber Orchestra, part of CCM’s pre-college program for advanced strings students. At Starling, Halpern is also a member of The Polaris String Quartet, which performed in Salzburg, Austria last month and will compete in the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana this month.

CCM News