Mit russischer Seele in Deutschlands unterwegs

TITLE: Ensemble Magazin, 4 / 2014

Author: Sibylle Schäfer

 

14. März 2014: Das Theater Kempten wird zum Schauplatz einer Aufführung, die das Zeug dazu hat, in die Musikgeschihte einzugehen: An zentraler Stelle des Konzerts - also genau in der Mitte nach dem Klavirkvintett von Borodin und vor dem dritten Streichquartett von Tschaikowsky - erklingt das Klavirquintett op. 72 des russischen Komponisten Grigori Frid (1915 - 2012). Grigori Frid? Nie gehört, werden die mesten Musikkenner sagen. Doch schon nach den ersten Takten steht fest - und es ist an der Atemolosigkeit des Publikums zu spüren: Hier kommt ein Meisterwerk zur Aufführung, das man mit Fug und Recht als Entdeckung, ja als Sensation bezeichnen darf. Entdeckt und "ausgegraben" hat es der Pianist und "Trüffelsucher" Oliver Triendl, der es auch liebend gern auf einer CD einspielen würde, aber bisher noch kein Label dafür gefunden hat. Begeistert für das Werk er seine Freunde vom Atrium Quartett. Kurz vor dem Konzert sprachen wir mit dem Streichquartett übersein Engagement für die russische Musik und die ungehobenen Schätze, die in den Weiten der russischen (Seelen-) Landschaften immer noch zu entdecken sind.

Full version you can read in the attachmen.

ENSEMBLE MAGAZIN August - September 2014
or download .pdf (9.44 MB) Read the full version

THE ATRIUM FOUR PROVED TO BE CAPTIVATING STORYTELLERS

TITLE: "LISTEN UP"

WRITTEN BY: James M. Keller

 

"...The Atrium String Quartet served a satisfying feast on Feb. 22 at St. John’s College. Formed in 2000 at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and now based in Berlin, the group is not yet famous in the United States, but that should change. They are, after all, young by string-quartet standards. Their performance was the opposite of Hahn’s; notwithstanding their technical proficiency, these players were there to take a stand on musical masterpieces. They opened with Beethoven’s F-Major Quartet (op. 18, No. 1), displaying excellent ensemble skills that fell perfectly into place during the repeat of the first movement’s exposition, applying slight elasticity to phrasing to underscore musical points. They brought a broad emotional scope to the Adagio movement, responding to the composer’s marking of “affectionately and passionately”; the sforzandooutbursts by second violin and viola in unison achieved fierceness without overstepping the bounds of musicality.

The group continued with Debussy’s String Quartet

Pasatiempo, Santa Fe, USA March 1, 2013
or download .pdf (2.86 MB), or download .pdf (63.46 KB) Read the full version

 

Music: Musicians who are simply the business

TITLE: Atrium String Quartet

VENUE: St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield

“TIME-scale, type of discourse, density of information, continuity, content, manner, process.

“The elements of music are treated so variously by composers that listeners need to be able to adopt several different modes of reception”.

Thus said Richard Steinitz in his recently published history of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. How apt for this concert, where the thematic and harmonic material of Haydn, Shostakovich and Beethoven was similar, but the different ways the composers used it were magnificently delineated by the Atrium String Quartet. These players had clear and muscular tone in perfect balance, they responded to each others’ subtleties and displayed the highest degree of musical intelligence. They are the business, it doesn’t come better than this.

 

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, January 25 2012
or download .pdf (52.26 KB) Read the full version

Atrium String Quartet at Sherwell Centre Plymouth

While Peninsula Arts never intended its Chamber Music Series to be a carbon copy of its predecessor, there was certainly something more than just deja vu when the Atrium String Quartet returned to the city after almost eight years.

Again here was superb playing from a top international ensemble, and a challenging, yet totally satisfying programme, which delighted the larger-than-usual audience at Plymouth University’s Sherwell Centre, clearly attracted by the potential on offer.

The Herald (Plymouth) January 26 2012
or download .pdf (1.27 MB) Read the full version

The Stradivari Trust Edition 2010

        'It's no secret that fine, beautiful instruments are half of the success of any musician.' Anton Ilyunin, second violinist of the Atrium Quartet, describes the group's ongoing search for the instruments that will help them realise their musical vision. He goes into intimate detail on the particular need for instruments of an equally high quality in a string quartet:'Historically the two violins always live together, and we can say the same about the cello and viola. Nevertheless, depending on the score, the violins can imitate the viola sound, or the other way round — sometimes the viola or cello needs to play like the first violin. That's why it is so important to have the best instruments with the fullest range of possible sounds.' The quartet players are delighted to have been taken under wing of the Stradivari Trust, and are currently searching the world for the right instruments to satisfy their musical needs.

The Strad, June 2010
or download .pdf (157.79 KB) Read the full version

        The Atrium Quartet won the London International String Quartet Competition 2003. Their prize was to make a record with EMI. Since then, although this vibrant Russian group has played all over Europe, their recording career has all but stalled. Until, that is, another competition gave them the chance to make this disc. These are distinguished performances, intelligent, moving, mature. The Beethoven is marked by a beautifully poised slow movement and a deftly delivered scherzo. The Shostakovich seems from first note to last to reside in the ensemble’s collective soul. More, please.

Sunday Times 14th Dec 2008
or download .pdf (25.18 KB) Read the full version

The Strad's review after ASQ recital in Wigmore Hall 8 Jul 2009

        At the Wigmore Hall on 8 July, a younger Russian ensemble, the Atrium Quartet, did less justice to Beethoven. The 'Harp' Quartet op.74 started strongly, with good Russian tone, but the leader began the Adagio too emphatically. They settled to some sensitive playing, but again it was the leader who skated over Beethoven's heart-stopping little decorations. The scherzo was very fast, as if being made to fit a preconceived tempo regardless of its effectiveness. The variations were nicely done, however. Ligeti's First Quartet used to be the province of the avant-gardists, so it was good to find it so well planned and executed by a mainstream ensemble. The slow sections were lovely and the more strenuous passages were dispatched with terrific virtuosity. Tchaikovsky's Second Quartet is a problem work and the Atrium approach was to go at it hammer and tongs. Even the charming scherzo had an air of calculation. The Andante brought splendid depth of tone but also more overemphasis. Likewise the finale, although the players rose courageously to the climax and the scurrying coda, earning themselves a Shostakovich encore.

The Strad, October 2009
or download .pdf (76.18 KB) Read the full version

Perfekte Grat Wanderung: Das russische Atrium Quartett in der Alten Oper

        Ein fein gedeckter Ton mit sparsamem Vibrato-Einsatz, frei von romantischen Schwulst, sogar eher klassizistisch im Ansatz: In dieser Darstellung wirkt Tschaikowskys Streichquartett Nr. 1 D-Dur op. 11 vornehm-dezent und sehr s.timmig. Beim jungen Atrium Quartett bekommt so selbst das Scherzo, das auch aufstampfend und derb gespielt werden koennte, toenzerische Eleganz.

        Das Quartett, das sich schon vor zehn Jahren am Sankt Petersburger Konservatorium gruendete und seine Ausbildung in Amsterdam und Berlin fortsetzte, strafte nicht nur mit Tschaikowsky, sondern mit seinem ganzen, seinem Heimatland gewidmeten Programm alle Klischees einer vermeintlich typisch russischen Musizierhaltung Luegen. Den pathosschwangeren, «grossen» Ton suchte man bei Alexey Naumenko und Anton Ilyunin (Violinen), Dmitri Pitulko (Viola) und Anna Gorelova (Cello) beim Kammerkonzert der Frankfurter Museums-Gesellschaft in der Alten Oper vergeblich.<--break->

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11 Dezember 2010
or download .pdf (2.05 MB) Read the full version

The Atrium commit their Shostakovich calling-card to disc - and it still grips.

The Atrium Quartet won first prize in the 2003 London International String Quartet Competition with a gripping account of Shostakovich's Fifth Quartet - along with the Twelfth, the most wide ranging and powerfully wrought of the cycle, though among the least performed. On their disc, unfazed by its demands, the Atrium steer a propulsive course through the Allegro - easily the most persuasively argued of Shostakovich's
sonata-form movements - and effect a suspenseful transition into die Andante, whose odierworldliness is underlined by the sparing but varied use of vibrato. Nor does the finale disappoint - its initial animation and violent culmination leading to a coda whose bittersweet oblivion is unerringly captured.
 
     This is undoubtedly the finest recording of the Fifth Quartet to have appeared during recent years...

Gramophone, November 2008
or download .pdf (534.64 KB) Read the full version