Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Jupiter String Quartet

I heard the Jupiter Quartet last night, playing Haydn, Beethoven, and Shostakovich in the Great Hall of the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois. If you, reader, ever have the opportunity to hear the Jupiter String Quartet: go.

So many of our more "celebrated" classical musicians play in a way that seems to say "Look at me, how passionate I am, how intensely self-absorbed." The members of the Jupiter Quartet play in a way that seems to say "Listen to the music. That's why we're here." The quartet's musicianship and expressive communication — among themselves and with their audience — are extraordinary. And these people are still so young! Catch them if you can: their touring schedule's on their website.

comments: 5

Anonymous said...

You have made my day. I try to explain to friends that today's famous musicians don't understand or feel the music they are performing. It is nice to know that someone else sees the problem.
Love your blog by the way.
Melanie (Toronto, Canada)

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Melanie. I hope you have a chance to hear the Jupiter Quartet.

Elaine Fine said...

I certainly understand what you are talking about Melanie, but (thank goodness) there are exceptions. It is not all of today's famous musicians only some of them, that are the problem. And it isn't really a current problem. The cult of personality has been around for decades, even centuries.

There are well-known musicians who play exceedingly well, but there are also musicians who believe too much about what their promotional material says about them. They also believe that their audience comes to concerts to hear them first and the music second. They no longer think of the primary responsibility that they have to the music, because they are too dazzled by their success.

Unfortunately, a good chunk of the classical music audience does tend to worship the cult of personality, and a good chunk of that chunk helps to pay the bills for the rest of us. We live in a world where the cult of personality bleeds into everything. But when it bleeds into classical music, I feel the pain far more often than I would like.

I totally second Michael's "review" of the concert (I was there with him). The Jupiter Quartet was really refreshing. I hope that they continue to have a great deal success while keeping a healthy dose humility.

macon d said...

Thanks for the rec; they do look more expressive than most of their ilk.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the link — for whatever reason, it never occurred to me to look for them on YouTube.