Romanian string quartet ConTempo Ensemble, “The ABBA of classical music” and winner of 14 international prizes, presents two exquisite contemporary pieces. Different Trains (1988) is a Grammy Award-winning multimedia show with both live and pre-recorded music, visuals, and speech. Written by the celebrated American composer Steve Reich (°1936, New York), Different Trains harkens back to his childhood. During World War II, Reich made train journeys between New York and Los Angeles to visit his parents who had separated. Years later, he pondered on the fact that, as a Jew, had he been in Europe instead of the US at that time, he might have been travelling in Holocaust trains. The three-movement performance is based on a continuous interaction between the live string quartet and pre-recorded audio-files, taken from interviews with Americans and Europeans about the years leading up to, during, and immediately after World War II. Different Trains was a novel experiment, as Reich transferred his speech recordings into a digital sampling keyboard and used recorded speech as a source of melodies.
In addition, ConTempo brings a rendition of Company,
a piece by Phillip Glass (°1937, Baltimore) who, along
with Reich, pioneered American minimal music during
the 1960s. Company was originally created for Fred
Neumann’s adaption of Samuel Beckett’s 1979 novella of
the same name, but later became a work in its own right.
Glass is widely regarded as one of the most influential
musicians of the late 20th century. He has written numerous
operas, concertos, symphonies, and film scores, three
of which have been nominated for Academy Awards.
Bogdan Sofei: violin / Ingrid Nicola: violin / Andreea Banciu: viola / Adrian Mantu: cello