April 10, 2013
Last fall, the Spektral Quartet played George Crumb's Black Angels, a contemporary classic, on the UWM Unruly Music series. Last Saturday (April 6), the highly regarded Chicago ensemble returned with another milestone work, Elliot Carter’s Second String Quartet.
The Spektral’s focus on contemporary music has made them an ideal resource for emerging composers in the UW-Milwaukee composition program. Other than Carter’s Second, Saturday’s Unruly Music program at Marcus Center Vogel Hall featured new works by local music students and faculty.
The Spektral Quartet has the appropriate experience, skills and insight to serve contemporary composers. Compositions that call for independent pacing among the players, that push the limits of the range of string instruments or that use non-traditional bowing or other playing styles are within their comfort zone. Plucks, skips, slides, rubs, scratches or drumming on the wooden body of the instruments can’t be matched electronically. Many of the compositions appeared to be studies designed to explore unusual effects. Each piece left a distinct impression as composers explored new techniques, patterns and development strategies.
Read the full article at ThirdCoast Digest.