COMMANDER'S CROSS AWARD TO TAKÁCS FROM REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY
The Takács Quartet has been awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary. The award, made by Hungarian President Lászl Slyom, was announced by H.E. Gyorgy Szapáry, Ambassador of the Republic of Hungary to the United States on March 15, Hungary's national holiday. The richly decorated emblem will be presented to each Takacs member at a concert at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington D.C. Previous recipients of the Commander's Cross include the late Hungarian-born conductor Georg Solti and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
TAKÁCS RECEIVES ROYAL PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY AWARD
On May 10, the Takacs Quartet received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Chamber Music & Song Category for their performances of Beethoven's complete string quartets in the United Kingdom during 2010.
LONDON GUARDIAN: ON 'RAZUMOVSKY' QUARTETS, by Ed Dusinberre
"Beethoven's three "Razumovsky" string quartets left both their first performers and the public shocked and suspicious. The violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, whose quartet premiered the Opus 59 works, complained they were unreasonably difficult. After playing the opening solo from the second movement of the first of the three quartets, cellist Bernhard Romberg threw his music to the ground and stamped on it. What sort of sorry substitute for a tune was this? How insulting to give a cellist of his stature such a banal rhythm, the sort of thing anyone could tap out with a pencil! Meanwhile, the violinist Felix Radicati is said to have complained these were "not music"."
BOSTON GLOBE: QUARTET DUSTS OFF A SCHUBERT RARITY
Woody Allen's 1989 film "Crimes and Misdemeanors'' centers in part around the moral consequences of a woman's murder, arranged by her former lover. In the scene where we first glimpse her assassin, a string quartet is heard playing a G-major chord. At first gentle and reassuring, the sound grows louder and more unnerving. Finally it explodes into a slashing fragment in sinister G minor. A pause, and the sequence is repeated on the note D. As the killer shadows his victim, a stark, simple melody emerges in the first violin, while the other three instruments produce a shivering, buzzing sound beneath. The whole musical passage uncannily mirrors the tension of the fateful act about to unfold.
LONDON TIMES: ON BEETHOVEN CYCLE, by Emma Pomfret
"Face to face with the Takács Quartet, I’m desperately trying to remember who’s who. There’s the serious one, Edward Dusinberre, first violin, who leads the music and the conversation. The joker: Károly Schranz, second violin, and the pithy one: András Fejér (cello). The Hungarian duo are the two remaining founder members. Finally, there’s the gushy one, Geraldine Walther, viola."