String quartet no. 1 in C-major, opus 48
String quartet no. 3 in F-major, opus 73
String quartet no. 7 in f-sharp-minor, opus 108
Shostakovich saw his string quartets as his musical diaries, in which he could express his most personal thoughts. He only vaguely hinted at what was going on in his head while composing. He respected the musicians to perform his music with their own imagination. Shostakovich wrote his First Quartet in 1938, shortly after he fell out of favour with Stalin. The quartet is not a political commentary but a revisiting to his childhood. Shostakovich considered his phenomenal Third Quartet from 1946 to be one of his best pieces: in his own words, an ode to the beauty that always conquers. He wrote his Seventh Quartet as an in memoriam to his first wife, who passed away in 1954.
The players of the Animato Kwartet from The Hague constitute one of the most promising young string quartets in the Netherlands. The violinist Tim Brackman was artist in residence at Janine Jansen’s chamber music festival. The jury of Dutch Classical Talent noted: “Four top players with bubbling energy, they grab you from the first note! The musicians are dedicated to each other and to the music.”
The Dutch Classical Talent jury about the Animato Kwartet
“Four top players with a vibrant energy, they grab you from the first note! The quartet is at the service of each other and the music.”