They have played on major international stages like Auditorium du Louvre and Cité de la Musique from the outset, and given guest performances in Japan, the US, in Central and South America, China and Korea: the musicians of the Quatuor Diotima, whose name is an homage to a string quartet by Luigi Nono, Fragmente – Stille. An Diotima. Their name tells their story, referring to the ensemble’s strong commitment to contemporary music in combination with the classical and Romantic string quartet repertoire. “A more competent ensemble than the Quatuor Diotima can hardly be imagined for concerts with contemporary string quartet music. Perfect is an inadequate word to describe the quality of their interaction” (Hamburger Abendblatt).
The four musicians of the Quatuor Diotima will begin their concert in the Chamber Music Hall with György Ligeti’s Second String Quartet. It refers to Béla Bartók’s quartet oeuvre, among other works, and musically the piece takes form as a continuous metamorphosis of timbres and patterns of movement, for instance in the third movement, a pizzicato piece with the mechanical polyrhythms typical of Ligeti. Claude Debussy’s only string quartet, by contrast, presents itself in orchestral colourfulness – with “oriental” melismas and an abundance of aphoristic sound fields that alternate in a breath-taking tempo. The evening rounds off with Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1: a musical journey out of darkness into light, with a “Hungarian” Vivace finale that ensures a conciliatory finish after a dramatic beginning.