String Quartets

Keller Quartett

Bach as a Moment of Force

Past Dates

The theme is Boulez. Bach provides the prologue. But does he really fit here? Please, no premature “yes”! Try to forget everything you have ever read or heard about Bach’s “modernity”. That is not our point of departure here. Bach is not one of us. He is an old master, and his Art of the Fugue a distillation of technical mastery. A theme, the internalized rules of the game, and an explorer’s curiosity which refuses to be satisfied with anything final: these are the ingredients which allowed three measures of music to engender an evening-long cosmos of proliferating, organized, articulate sound. Sheer madness. By the end, anyone who has followed along with concentration will no longer know where he or she is. But that hardly matters. The question of modernity, in any event, has become moot. Instead, there is the question of strangeness. We can only attain Bach’s delirium of lucid thought from an undisguised recognition of its remoteness, and in awareness of the distance separating work and listener. But precisely in this tension lies the energy from which the music draws its powerful force of attraction.

Bach is not one of us. And hence an object of fascination. It is impossible to precede Boulez’s oeuvre with a prologue that will allow us to navigate the ensuing musikfest programme. The only one who can do that is someone who sets new standards by providing an exemplar of how spiritual greatness is realized in music. For it is a question of standards. And of demands. With Bach, and with Boulez.

Concert Programme

Johann Sebastian Bach [1685–1750]
Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080 [1745–50]

Contrapunctus I – Contrapunctus II – Contrapunctus III – Contrapunctus IV –
Contrapunctus V – Contrapunctus VI, a 4, in Stylo Francese –
Contrapunctus VII, a 4, per Augmentationem et Diminutionem –
Contrapunctus VIII, a 3 – Contrapunctus IX, a 4, alla Duodecima –
Contrapunctus X, a 4, alla Decima – Contrapunctus XI, a 4 –
Contrapunctus XII, a 4, rectus / inversus –
Contrapunctus XIII, a 3, rectus / inversus –
Canon per Augmentationem in Contrario Motu – Canon alla Ottava –
Canon alla Decima in Contrapuncto alla Terza –
Canon alla Duodecima in Contrapuncto alla Quinta – Contrapunctus XIV, Quadrupelfuge (fragment)


Keller Quartett
András Keller violin
Zsófia Környei violin
Zoltán Gál viola
Judit Szabó violoncello