They are just bursting with energy!
Young and talented, showered with international awards, they live their lives guided by a simple rule – the key is harmony and happiness. And passion that became a lifestyle for them. The daring Meccore String Quartet – one of the hottest Polish ensembles of this kind – dynamically stepped onto the international concert scene, and is now trying to prove that sophisticated music can totally preoccupy us. They are just bursting with energy!
Exuberant and very emotional interpretations have become Meccore’s trademark. Youthful expression combined with outstanding skills and true virtuosity delights audiences in many countries of the world. The group consists of four young artists (Wojciech Koprowski, Jarosław Nadrzycki, Michał Bryła and Karol Marianowski), whose personalities meet head-on in music, creating a consistent, yet vibrating with emotions, explosive mixture. Known as “bad boys” of the Polish quartet, they prove that music and real talent know no bounds. Asked about what they would never give up in art, they simply reply – their own personalities! And they add: “With every note we struggle to break the stereotyped image of a quartet that an average listener associates with a wedding or a museum.” And though Meccore is, above all, an ultra-professional “philharmonic” ensemble, the artists like to surprise us with something completely new.
Their latest record presents works of two composers – Karol Szymanowski and Claude Debussy, who also did not fit into standard framework, and whose course of life and (not only artistic) choices raise many controversies until this very day. Their music is pervaded right through with intensive shades of sensuality. Quartets are sometimes mysterious and impulsive, spasmodic and soothing, leaving numerous possible interpretations to the listener. One thing is for sure though – they are full of sparkle that makes them beloved by the wide audience.
In a review of the record, a well-known Polish music critic and blogger – Dorota Szwarcman – says: “Each and every top Polish quartet – including Meccore String Quartet – will sooner or later cope with both works of this genre by Karol Szymanowski. It is simply a must, as these are extraordinary works in the Polish music literature. Just like Szymanowski’s great talent flourished in Poland at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries like an exotic flower, both of his string quartets seem to be exotic flowers compared to earlier Polish quartets (...) Szymanowski’s works appeared suddenly and showed a completely different, deeply personal world” – and she also adds on the Debussy’s quartet: “The first performance took place on 29 December 1893 in Société Nationale in Paris by Eugene Ysaÿe himself and his string quartet. At first, the piece was received rather coolly by critics, even a favourable review in Le Guide Musical pointed him out “influences of young Russia”. Also the performance in Brussels a year later aroused no enthusiasm: an anonymous critic in Le Patriote found “Impressionism” in the quartet (which then probably supposed to be an insult), and on the other hand he accused the composer of oscillating between Borodin, Grieg and Wagner. Another review also said about “orientalism that resembled the streets of Cairo at the Exhibition 1889”, as well as “pointillism”. “Where this school (of music pointillism and general amorphism) will lead us, what it will reach, it is hard to say. Our grandchildren will decide upon it and perhaps consider us reactionaries because we weren’t able to understand Debussy” – wrote Maurice Kufferath in Le Guide Musical. In fact, that’s what happened: now it is actually difficult to say why this gentle and still not much revolutionary music caused such protests. Today, we listen to it as an indication of later, truly revolutionary Debussy”. The recordings were made with the support of Irene Steels-Wilsing Stiftung in Oskar Kolberg Swietokrzyska Philharmonic Hall in Kielce, under the supervision of excellent sound directors: Thomas Bössl and Leonie Wagner. The album is the first classical record which enriches Polskie Nagrania (Polish Records ‘Muse’) catalogue after acquisition by Warner Music Group.
Meccore String Quartet – short bio
Established in 2007, the Meccore String Quartet is considered one of the most outstanding Polish string quartets. It received many international awards. The group studied with Artemis Quartett at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and in the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel’s chamber music masterclass in Brussels. They further developed their skills during masterclasses (e.g. Reggio Emilia String Quartet Festival, Beethoven Haus Masterclass in Bonn, Jeunesses Musicales in Weikersheim) run by outstanding artists, such as: Gerhard Schulz (Alban Berg Quartet), Cuarteto Casals, Vogler Quartett, Kuss Quartett, Barthold Kuijken, Heime Müller, Antonello Farulli, Peter Cropper (Lindsay String Quartet). An important event in Meccore’s artistic life was its participation in the Ludwig van Beethoven’s music interpretation course run by Alfred Brendel. The artists performed in many prestigious concert halls, e.g. in London, New York, Vienna, Madrid or Berlin. In 2011, the quartet was nominated to the Paszport Polityki prize in the category of classical music, among other things for boldly defying proprieties and breaking down stereotypes.
They also organize the International Chamber Music Festival Q’arto Mondi and work for charity. The Meccore String Quartet carries out an important mission for its members, which is promoting chamber music in places with restricted access to cultural achievements, with special emphasis put on concerts in hospitals for children and teenagers.
MECCORE STRING QUARTET: SZYMANOWSKI & DEBUSSY
String Quartet No. 1
I. Lento assai 7’40
II. Andantino semplice 5’57
III. Vivace 3’55
String Quartet No. 2
I. Moderato dolce e tranquillo 7’45
II. Vivave, scherzando 4’34
III. Lento 5’05
String Quartet No. 1
I. Animé et très décidé 6’10
II. Assez vif et bien rythmé 3’44
Andantino, doucement expressif 7’27
IV. Très modéré - En animant peu à peu - Très mouvementé et avec passion 7’18
Meccore String Quartet:
Wojciech Koprowski – violin
Jarosław Nadrzycki – violin
Michał Bryła – viola
Karol Marianowski – cello