Cover Prism I

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  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750): The Well-Tempered Clavier:
  • 1The Well-Tempered Clavier:: Fugue in E-Flat Major, BWV 87602:02
  • Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975): String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144:
  • 2 String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144: 1. Elegy. Adagio13:27
  • 3 String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144: 2. Serenade. Adagio06:11
  • 4 String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144: 3. Intermezzo. Adagio01:36
  • 5 String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144: 4. Nocturne. Adagio04:23
  • 6 String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144: 5. Funeral March. Adagio molto05:03
  • 7 String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144: 6. Epilogue. Adagio06:49
  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827): String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op. 127:
  • 8 String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op. 127: 1. Maestoso - Allegro06:45
  • 9 String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op. 127: 2. Adagio ma non troppo e molto cantabile16:23
  • 10 String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op. 127: 3. Scherzo. Vivace08:24
  • 11 String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op. 127: 4. Finale07:06
  • Total Runtime01:18:09

Info for Prism I

For its third ECM release, the Danish String Quartet inaugurates a series of albums with the overarching title of Prism, in which the group will present one of Beethoven's late string quartets in the context of a related fugue by J.S. Bach as well as a linked masterwork from the quartet literature.

With Prism 1, it is the first of Beethoven's late quartets, his grand Op. 127 in E flat major, alongside Bach's luminous fugue in the same key (arranged by Mozart) and Dmitri Shostakovich's final string quartet, No. 15 in E flat minor, a haunted and haunting sequence of six adagios. The DSQ recorded the disc at the Reitstadel in Neumarkt, Germany, applying its lyricism and spirit of ensemble to the interconnected sound world of these three composers.

Hailed by the Washington Post as "one of the best quartets before the public today" and as simply "terrific" by The Guardian, the Danish String Quartet is now one of the world's leading string quartets. In 2009, the DSQ took First Prize, plus four additional prizes, in the Eleventh London International String Quartet Competition. They also received the Carl Nielsen Prize, Denmark's most important cultural award, in 2011. The group's 2017 ECM album, Last Leaf, saw it explore the texturally rich, emotionally resonant world of Nordic folk music.

"There is probably no string quartet that I would rather hear play Beethoven at the moment than this foursome of three young Danes and their Norwegian cellist, who demonstrate unrivalled intensity, freedom in their playing and remarkable feel for the composer." - David Allen, New York Times

Danish String Quartet:
Frederik Øland, violin
Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello

Danish String Quartet
As a string quartet, we find ourselves at the core of the classical music world. On a daily basis we delve deeply into works by great masters such as Beethoven and Mozart, but we also play the occasional folk gig. Over the years we have been fortunate to study in many different places in masterclasses with renowned teachers and have had opportunities to perform in major concert halls across the world. Sometimes a friendly reviewer has written nice things about us too. We have participated in competitions and made some recordings as well. If you want to know more about all this stuff, check out the ‘press‘ page on our site, where you can download a PDF with all the text you could hope for.

Here’s a simpler story of the quartet: We are three Danes and one Norwegian cellist, making this a truly Scandinavian endeavor. We are often joking about ourselves being modern Vikings – perhaps a touch more harmless than our ancestors – we are not pillaging cities or razing the English coastline! We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard.The three of us met very early in our lives in the Danish countryside at an amazing summer camp for enthusiastic amateur musicians. Not yet teenagers, we were the youngest players, so we hung out all the time playing football and chamber music together. During the regular school year we would get together often to play music and just have fun. We became best friends. In 2001, professor Tim Frederiksen of The Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen got in touch with us and started coaching us on a regular basis. All of the sudden, at the ages of 15 and 16, we were a serious string quartet. It all happened so fast that none of us seemed to notice the transition.

Time passed and we grew up. We were enrolled at The Royal Academy of Music and our life as music students had begun. Funnily enough, none of us have any memory of our lives without the string quartet. In 2008 Norwegian cellist Fredrik joined in, generously adding to the amount of beard and general Vikingness of the group. We found him hidden away in a castle outside Stockholm. During his free time, Fredrik can be found fixing or sailing his sailboat somewhere in Scandinavia.The rest of us spend time with different hobbies – old cars, cooking, gaming, reading, playing, talking, and drinking. Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did.There is so much amazing music to delve into, and our hope is to continue our travels through life and music together as a quartet. We want to be able to share our music with as many people as possible. And of course, the ultimate goal is to beat Valentin Berlinsky’s (Borodin String quartet) world record of “most years in the same chamber music group”. We will reach that goal around 2060 and on that day we will host a giant feast – you shall all be invited!

Booklet for Prism I

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