“You stand behind every note, you, living, forceful, loving.”
Janacek String quartet “Intimate Letters” (1928)
Korngold Piano Quintet (1921)
In the second of our Music & Word events, Melvyn Tan will perform alongside the Škampa Quartet and actor Juliet Stevenson; music and letters will be interwoven, each illuminating the other.
Leos Janacek’s quartet was inspired by the Czech composer’s decades-long spiritual relationship with Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 38 years his junior who inspired most of his late works. It portrays the passionate yet unrequited nature of his relationship with Kamila, to whom he wrote over 700 letters.
Melvyn Tan established his international reputation with pioneering performances on the fortepiano and continues to cast fresh light on music conceived for the piano’s early and modern forms. Acclaimed for the wit and poetry of his playing, he has applied lessons learned from pianos of the past to conjure subtle new colours, fine details of articulation and delicate shadings from the modern concert instrument.
The Škampa Quartet
The Škampa Quartet come to Charleston directly from their performance at the Wigmore Hall. The Quartet are often considered to be the finest interpreters of Janacek playing today, and their recordings of his music are often considered to be the gold standard.
Their innate understanding of the rhythms of their native Czech folk music informs their playing, and their five star performances are powerful and profoundly uplifting.
Although acclaimed for her television and film work, Juliet is also considered one of our finest stage actors, with roles at The RSC, the National Theatre and the West End. The hallmarks of her performances are honesty, intensity and emotional truth. Juliet returns to Charleston for the first time in five years, and this will be her first performance in the newly restored Hay Barn.