<< -- 4 -- Howard Smith TRUMP CARD
Violist Gillian Ansell recalls how for the first of several rehearsal
sessions with the composer, Székely himself opened the door to the
Banff Centre apartment.
She remembers a tiny, stooped little old man, frail and slow. Yet despite
the fragility he was reputedly in excellent health and still spent hours
working through scores and music text-books 'His face had the utmost sweetness
of expression and patient gentleness,' Gillian recalls.
'He'd looked forward to the NZSQ visit all morning, rising especially
early to prepare himself,' the housekeeper revealed. 'Now he radiated excitement
and anticipation at the prospect of hearing his quartet at last.'
Gjelsten tells how the NZSQ spent a very long session with him that day.
'We began by playing the first movement, then listened to his comments concerning
tempo, articulation, dynamics and balance. Then we played the movement again
until he was satisfied, before moving on to the next. We were able to go
through all 8 movements in this manner without his concentration diminishing'.
'We were all thrilled with the work', Gjelsten remembers. 'The style
is unique, displaying great originality, deep expression and wild virtuosity.
Some passages are reminiscent of Bartók, others recall Kodály,
the rest; only Székely's unique imagination could conceive.'
The work is highly and faultlessly structured, possessing a remarkably
expressive abandonment, evoking life on the Great Hungarian Plain, east
of the Danube.
Copyright © 1 March 2001
Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand
VISIT HOWARD SMITH'S WEBSITE
VISIT THE NEW ZEALAND STRING QUARTET WEBSITE
& Vision home
Davy Spillane >>