A highly successful BBC Proms debut of the Calidore String Quartet captivated the audience at Cadogan Hall on Monday, 16 July 2018. New York-based quartet gave the world premiere of two new Essays by Caroline Shaw: Echo and Ruby, in addition to premiered in 2016 Essay 1: Nimrod. In the second part of the concert, they were joined by pianist Javier Perianes to perform the ever-exciting Schumann Piano Quintet.
Their debut performance has met with high praises from critics. Claire Seymour, hearing the Quartet for the first time, wrote for Seen and Heard International:
“This Cadogan Hall debut made it eminently clear why the young ensemble has made such a mark. The Quartet exudes confidence and care: their attention to detail is untiring, but never mannered or extreme. They produce a warm sound, in which the four voices are beautifully blended – in fact, there were times when the two violinists, Jeffrey Meyers & Ryan Meehan, seemed to be playing the same violin so perfectly matched was the tone and gesture. Cellist Estelle Choi has a strong lyrical voice and the shaping of the cello line, whether in songful expressivity, rhythmic propulsion or bassy grittiness, is a powerful foundation for the ensemble’s colour, form and direction. Jeremy Berry can make his viola heard through the texture without undue effort, and he had plenty of characterful contributions to make. I was impressed by the balance of unity and individuality that the Calidore achieved…. elegance, authority and charisma in equal measure.”
The Arts Desk awarded the performance with 5 stars, saying that in Caroline Shaw’s pieces “the Calidores lived every moment of these remarkable and original pieces, making a human conversation out of the first and third, hinting at the metaphysical in “Echo”.” In Schumann’s Piano Quintet “the voices of cellist Estelle Choi and viola-player Jeremy Berry were one; later there were striking differences in timbre between violinists Jeffrey Meyers and Ryan Meehan, pointedly more viola-like for the passage in question. Collectively the Calidores made sure that the lifting of the slow movement’s austere solemnity, winging clear of the funeral cortege, stayed ethereal. It was so good to hear it…”
Ateş Orga for Classical Source wrote: “The Calidore String Quartet – engaged currently in BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme and winners of the Emerging Artist Award at Lincoln Center – is as good as one can get. The musicians’ quality of performance, interaction, self-listening and response could not be faulted. The attention and nuancing they accorded Shaw’s work was at a Beethovenian level of intensity and inspiration.”
Further engagements this summer include five performances at Music@Melno Festival in California and the Bravo! Festival San Diego where the Quartet will assume directorship of chamber music and will be mentoring the most promising music talents from China.