From Q2 Live Concerts: “JACK Quartet Live from (Le) Poisson Rouge on March 27, 2011′


“he JACK Quartet has carved out a niche for itself by performing notoriously difficult and treacherous works. While some string quartets might tackle one of these sorts of pieces per program, JACK focuses its repertoire entirely on these demanding works, creating fiendishly challenging programs. Staying true to form, this March 27 performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge features works by Steve Lehman, György Ligeti and Horatiu Radulescu.

As can be expected from a string quartet that concentrates on new music, many of the works the JACK Quartet performs are results of longstanding relationships between the group and composers. Lehman’s Nos Revi Nella was written for JACK and it received its world premiere in April 2010 as part of the Columbia Composers Series.

Though the Ligeti and Radulescu are separated by almost thirty years, both quartets evoke a similar, outerworldly atmosphere particularly in the use of harmonics and hushed, whispered playing. Of course there are certainly moments when the two pieces take on unique characteristics; the Ligeti with furious bursts of energy and the Radulescu with recurring motives that help to ground the listener throughout the extensive work.

Don’t forget to poke around the Q2 Live Concert archive for more exciting live performances at your fingertips.