An Afternoon of Strings

The Rolston Quartet masterfully performed three classical pieces at the Krannert Center on Sunday.

Written by Bill Xun

On Sunday, I saw the Rolston Quartet perform classical pieces by Mozart, Ligeti, and Beethoven in Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center. The first piece by Mozart was as classical as it gets. The performers were amazing and the sounds of the strings perfectly harmonized and echoed across the stage. It was cool to see how coordinated the performers were. They were able to stay in sync and together even through fast and complicated melodies. It was also interesting to see them use tablets for their sheet music, so they don’t need to flip through sheet music.

I’m not a really big fan of classical music, so the first piece seemed to drag along as good as it was. However, the 2nd piece really piqued my attention. The piece by Ligeti, String Quartet No. 1, “Métamorphoses nocturnes”,  definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. Like the performers explained before the performance, it was full of dissonance, and fast and slow parts. It sounded like a piece from a horror movie and the performers played extremely vigorously, with a lot of body movement. There was a lot of strong movements and changes in the piece itself from fast to slow, and they were playing so hard their bows were hitting the instruments at one point. I’ve never heard a quartet play this kind of music before, and it was nice to hear some non-traditional classical music for a change. Though, as much as I like hearing live music, I probably wouldn’t see a purely classical quartet again by itself.

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