The next (Un)heard Music Festival will take place on the 16th and 17th of march 2019 at KORZO The Hague. For this edition the Matangi Quartet, initiator and artistic leader, has invited the Polish 'unheard' composer Pawel Szymanski. His abstract sounds and love for early music creates a huge layerment and intimate feel. Szymanski's music is like poetry, there is no story, just the sounds which carry you away and gives the listener space to create his own experience
The central work during the festival will be his piece 'Five Pieces. This piece was inspiration for Maria-Paula, first violinist of Matangi, to fully occupy herself with playing string quartet as a teenager: 'When I got the recording, which had 'Five Pieces' on it, I was totally amazed.
What an expression, humor, lyricism, and techniques in each of the five parts. I particularly liked the glissandi in the first part. Could you really do that with a string quartet? Were there no electronics in the game?
BBC3 about this work by the 'unheard' composer:
“Szymanski’s ‘Five Pieces’ for string quartet were composed in 1993 in response to a BBC commission for the Brodsky Quartet. The work is dedicated to the memory of his friend Jerzy Stajuda. Stajuda was one of Poland’s most outstanding artists, who died in March 1992 at the age of 55. Each of the ‘Five Pieces’ has a strongly individual texture, based around a single idea. The first is based on a brief phrase which could be from Mozart or Haydn, but is worked through a dizzying series of slides from all four instruments. The second has a skipping mechanical texture built up from single short notes. The third piece is the still, calm centre of the work - all glassy chords in harmonics, with faint ghosts of melody. On the other side of this pool of stillness, there is a loud, throbbing piece - arpeggiated chords played by all - and a gradually increasing addition of flurrying runs of decoration. The final piece is the strangest. The first violin plays a bleak, squawking series of chords. The other instruments quietly creep in, but remain in the background. The first violin never manages to pull the others into playing his rhythm; instead they simply melt away into silence.”