In April, the quartet with pianist John Tilbury performed Morton Feldman’s epic late work, Piano and String Quartet in the first concert of the Principal Sound Festival at St. John’s Smith Square. Taking its name from an organ work by Morton Feldman, Principal Sound celebrated the music of one of the most individual and influential composers of the 20th century.
To be released later this summer, on Matchless Recordings, is the 3rd and final volume of all the works written for Piano and Strings by Feldman, recorded live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2006. Featured works include Spring of Chosroes (violin and piano), The Viola in My Life (viola and piano) and Trio, the mesmerising work for violin, cello and piano. Recorded and produced by Sebastian Lexer, this volume will celebrate almost 10 extraordinary years of collaboration. We've included here the beautiful notes that John Tilbury wrote for the booklet.
“If any single piece epitomises the beauty and hypnotic power of Feldman's final works, it is Piano and String Quartet.”
Reviews from our performance at Principal Sound on April 1st
“Feldman’s feeling for proportion and weight was exquisitely displayed in the piece, but only because the performance was so beautifully judged…In their wonderful performance Feldman’s masterpiece took on a lovely vernal glow.”
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph (5 star)
“…The Smiths and Tilbury are seasoned exponents of this style and made the performance magical…”
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times
“The pianist John Tilbury and the Smith Quartet interpreted 85 minutes of Morton Feldman’s ’slow music’ with silken beauty.”
Geoff Brown, The Times (4 star)
Also coming up…
The quartet is also looking forward to the release of Michael Nyman’s 4th and 5th quartets later this summer on The MN label. More news about this release will follow in the next few weeks.
And this October… They will be performing at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff in the hall’s popular lunchtime series. Rep will include classics by Pärt, Glass, Nyman and Volans. And… at Kings Place, London, there will be another chance to hear Distil, the award winning work by Graham Fitkin, written for the quartet and percussionist Joby Burgess. This programme will also feature works by Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman’s 5th quartet.
In November, the quartet will be finishing off 2016 performing at the stunning Royal Library, Copenhagen. They will perform, amongst other works, Wayne Siegel’s exciting work North Shore, written for the group and premiered in 2015 at Kings Place, London.
In early 2017 the Smiths will continue its long established collaboration with Shobona Jeyasingh Dance on a UK tour of Material Men (premiered last Autumn at the QEH), music by Elena Kats-Churnin and sound designer Leafcutter John.