The piece is a selection of composer Pierre Jalbert’s recently released new album, “Air in Motion”
Made up of violinists Adam Barnett-Hart and Brendan Speltz, violist Pierre Lapointe, and cellist Brook Speltz, the Escher Quartet is a former BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant.
One of their most recent projects includes Pierre Jalbert‘s new album “Air in Motion.” On it, the ensemble recorded Jalbert’s String Quartet No.4, Air in Motion, and String Quartet No.6 (“Canticle”).
The quartet shared with The Violin Channel an exciting video recording of the second movement of Quartet No.4, entitled “Waveform.” Check it out below:
When asked what drew the quartet to the music of Pierre Jalbert, the Escher Quartet violist Pierre Lapointe told VC, “The clarity and craftsmanship of his writing combined with a sense of rhythmical vivacity that seems to describe mathematical phenomenons rather than human emotions. I believe we chose our quartet’s name for recognizing and praising similar mathematical attributes in the famous litographs of Dutch Artist M.C. Escher.”
The members of the Escher Quartet had a chance to work directly with Jalbert on the recording, as he was there for the 3-day recording session. “It was an immense time saver to have him there since we could always ask him how a certain passage was meant to sound rather than argue among ourselves,” Lapointe said. “Too bad we cannot replicate that process for every composer’s piece we play.”
VC also asked how important the group thinks it is for string quartets to explore contemporary music in addition to the standard repertoire. Lapointe wanted readers to picture a scenario:
“Let’s say your main goal is to play a Haydn quartet really well,” he said. “Do you think by only focusing on every detail of that piece, at the exclusion of other masterworks, you could ever achieve that goal? I certainly do not believe so and I think a similar line of thoughts applies to why it is important to learn and perform contemporary music.
“Every composer, every piece is unique and the more you focus on learning new music, the better equipped you become at communicating music itself, because you have, in a sense, forced yourselves to travel.”