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After a twenty-minute intermission, the quartet returns and continues with the music of Webern. The Six Bagatelles for String Quartet Op 9, is a very short piece -- it is over before the audience realizes that the six movements have passed. Müller and Prischepenko switch seats for the piece and Müller leads in the quizzical and delicate piece -- another tribute to the twelve-tone technique.

The beautiful Quartet in A minor Op 51 No 2 brings the audience back to Brahms. The depth of the cello, the colorful, warm tones of the viola and the playful sound of the violins carry us to the melodic and harmonious ocean of musical bliss. Discussions between the instruments, echoes and canons resonate throughout the four movements. The very Eastern European feel of the piece is a reflection of Brahms' Hungarian influence acquired throughout his stay in Vienna. The quartet members, who have also studied in Vienna, put to work their beautiful sounds, artistic abilities and German precision to turn this piece into this evening's tour de force.

The members of this quartet play like one soul, communicating with their whole body. Oftentimes, they resemble a flower closing at dusk -- all leaning toward the center -- and reopening at dawn -- each moving back in synchrony. Always playing with a smile, they are also enjoying the performance, creating a pleasant atmosphere for the audience. The Artemis Quartet looks like the quartet next door -- down-to-earth friendly and easy-going. Don't be fooled; once they strike that first note with their bows, you know you're in musical paradise.

The Artemis Quartet members show their incredible mastery by putting together pieces from the romantic and from the 20th century periods of classical music, showing their wide range of repertoire. From melodic and full, to minimal and delicate, the quartet looks and sounds comfortable with both eras. These musicians do not fall short of all the praise they are receiving worldwide as they are a true delight visually, aurally and emotionally.

Copyright © 19 February 2007 Sonja K Stojanovic, Illinois USA





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