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Danish String Quartet: Bio

As a string quartet, we find ourselves at the core of the classical music world. On a daily basis, we delve into works by great masters such as Beethoven and Mozart, but we also play the occasional folk music gig.

Over the years we have been fortunate to study in many different places, in masterclasses with renowned teachers and have had opportunities to perform in major concert halls across the world.

We have participated in competitions and made some recordings as well. If you want to know more about all this conventional stuff, check out the ‘press‘ page on our site, where you can download a substantial PDF full of information and wisdom.

Here's a simpler story of the quartet:

 We are three Danes and one Norwegian cellist, making this a truly Scandinavian endeavor. Being relatively bearded, we are often compared to the Vikings. However, we are only pillaging the English coastline occasionally.

The three of us, the Danes, met very early in our lives in the Danish countryside at a summer camp for enthusiastic amateur musicians. Not yet teenagers, we were the youngest players, so we hung out all the time playing football and chamber music together.

We were regular Danish kids with an above average interest in classical chamber music. Quickly we became best friends and we still are. In 2001, professor Tim Frederiksen of The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen got in touch with us and started coaching us on a regular basis, drilling us for hours in early Haydn quartets.

All of the sudden, at the ages of 15 and 16, we were a serious string quartet, practicing intonation and stuff. It all happened so fast that none of us seemed to notice the transition.

Time passed and we grew up. Grew beards. None of us have any memory of our lives without the string quartet.

In 2008 Norwegian cellist Fredrik joined in. He looked like a character from Game of Thrones, and we thought he was a perfect match. During his free time, Fredrik can be found fixing or sailing his OE32 sailboat somewhere in Scandinavia.

Other interests of the group include vintage cars, cooking, gaming, reading, playing, talking, scuba diving, playing tennis, and being dads of babies and toddlers. Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did.

Music is a way to hang out with friends, and we hope we can continue to hang out for many, many years.

Rune, Asbjørn, Fredrik and Frederik

Danish String Quartet

Prism II - Beethoven / Schnittke / Bach

ECM

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1 Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, BWV 869 / Fugue in B minor
2 Schnittke: String Quartet No. 3 / Andante
3 Agitato
4 Pesante
5 Beethoven: String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 / Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro
6 Presto
7 Poco scherzando. Andante con moto ma non troppo
8 Alla danza tedesca. Allegro assai
9 Cavatina. Adagio molto espressivo
10 Overtura. Allegro - Fuga

Each of the albums in the 's ongoing Prism project links one of the five late Beethoven quartets with a Bach fugue and a kindred-spirit work by a later master. Released last year, the Grammy-nominated first instalment of the series earned wide acclaim. The second volume of the series begins with the Fugue in B minor, BWV 869, which completes J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (in an arrangement by Viennese composer Emanuel Aloys Förster, an elder contemporary of Beethoven). As Prism Iincluded a quartet by Shostakovich, Prism II features one Alfred Schnittke. Characteristically, Schnittke's String Quartet No. 3 of 1983 echoes with the sound of ghosts, from the late 16th century (Orlando Lassus and his Stabat Mater) to the mid-20th century (Shostakovich and his musical monogram of DSCH – which, as Paul Griffiths points out in his booklet essay, can be sensed as a transposition of the first four notes of the theme from Beethoven's titanic "Grosse Fugue"). The original version of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130, included the "Grosse Fugue" as its final movement – which is how the DSQ presents the piece on Prism II. 

Crossover Media Projects with: Danish String Quartet