The Seckerson Tapes: The Elias String Quartet | Classical music reviews, news & interviews
The Seckerson Tapes: The Elias String Quartet
The former Radio 3 New Generation Artists are embarking on a complete cycle of Beethoven's quartets
The vibrant Elias String Quartet are 14 years young, well established, and well respected on the international scene. Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and recipients of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2010, they are at that major crossroads in any quartet's life when they embark upon a complete cycle of the Beethoven Quartets. Unusually the quartet have decided to chronicle their preparation and progress through a revealing website.
Further insights are offered with this audio podcast, in which Marie Bitlloch (cello) and Donald Grant (second violin) - one half of the quartet led by Marie's sister Sarah Bitlloch and completed by violist Martin Saving – talk about this testing odyssey. The conversation, interspersed with telling clips from two of the quartets, takes an honest and frank look, not just at the challenges thrown up by Beethoven's extraordinary "16" but at the quartet's working methods and democratic "first among equals" philosophy. It doesn't take an Old Testament prophet - their namesake - to predict that when the complete cycle is launched in earnest at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford in November the Elias String Quartet will be testing those who think they know the quartets well to think again.
Listen to The Seckerson Tapes: The Elias String Quartet
If you would prefer to download and listen offline, please download
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more Classical music
An instant classic from Hans Abrahamsen, and Mahler in inverted commas
Percussion and strings, contemporary and Tchaikovsky, brilliantly interwoven
A baffling ending to an extrovert evening of (mostly) music since 1945
The Bard in words and music from Mendelssohn to Adès, steered by the best
Having a ball with a Cinderella symphony
Spiky pianism, a neglected violin concerto and contemporary music with a Syrian twist
Women as composers and performers just happen to be top of the eco-bill
High spirits and tinge of menace in Alexandre Bloch's big-concert SCO debut
Interiority as well as intensity from the ENO Chorus in a classic work
Hungarian folk tunes, low-key British minimalism and a classy piano quartet
Fresh perspectives on a symphonic monolith
Fine, benign church music by the greatest of them all in the right acoustic