As the Meccorre Quartet celebrates the tenth anniversary of their formation, they return to UC San Diego for a third time. The quartet is a young, acclaimed Polish ensemble that tours around Europe and the United States. Their newest album, Grieg: Complete String Quartets, received the prestigious German Record Critics Award: “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenktitik.”
On Nov. 3, UCSD’s Conrad Prebys Music Center was filled with students as well as community members to welcome the Meccorre Quartet. Although the concert only consisted of three songs and a surprise snippet from Haydn’s “Symphony No. 52,” the concert clocked in at a surprising two and a half hours.
The night began with Karol Szymanowski’s “String Quartet no. 2, op 56, M64.” The underlying low tone of the cello created a somber backbone for the piece, which was interrupted by peaks of energy between high viola notes. As the second movement came along, audience members were met with a beautiful melody that was fast-paced and exhilarating, yet still full of grief.
The next piece, Robert Schumann’s “Quartet in A Minor, op 41, no.1,” began as a melancholy track created by deep, underlying cello and viola notes. The song soon transformed into a hopeful one by the introduction of longer melodies and higher tones. In combination with this, there were moments of intense emotion evoked by sharp and shrieking violin noises. This led to a conflict emerging between the affectionate and somber undertones, which magically coalesced into a cooperative cacophony highlighting the victory of love.
Finally, Edvard Grieg’s “String Quartet in G Minor, op. 27” brought a passionate wave of emotion to the listener. With fragments of peaceful melodies, this track soon extracted feelings of serenity and replaced them with anger and uneasiness. Towards the end, the melodies in the song built up and eventually brought the audience to a state of catharsis as the violin and viola exploded into chaotic high notes.
As the night came to a close, the audience praised the Meccorre Quartet with a three-minute standing ovation. Gratefully, the quartet gifted the audience with a performance of a movement from Haydyn’s “Symphony No. 52.” This piece was a distinguished conclusion to the quartet’s set as the somber melodies gave the audience a reassuring goodbye. The night was a formidable remembrance of old works of art that continue to inspire musicians to this day.
Helen Castellon is a staff writer of the Àrts and Entertainment section for The Triton.