One of the best innovations of the Belgrade Philharmonic in the recent years was forming the String Quartet. Jelena Dragnić, first violin, Vladan Lončar, second violin, Boris Brezovac, viola and Aleksandar Latković, cello, are members of the ensemble whose full name is the Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet. The Quartet gave their latest concert to celebrate their fifth anniversary. They have given so far a series of very good concerts; they realized several tours within the region and the United Arab Emirates, China and France. They also released a compact disc. The concert programme included three string quartets – Mozart’s, Mendelssohn’s and Ravel’s, which is a big step for a performer. Mozart’s String Quartet in D minor K 421, is a drama directed achievement, where there is a significant autonomy of sections.
Such concept requires sustaining the suspense during the interpretation, a singular performance where intensity was a tool, which the members of this quartet used to draw the listener into the conflicting story. In Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op.44 No.2 in E-minor, there is also a lot of drama, highlighting the virtuosity performed on an enviable level. And finally Ravel’s String Quartet in F major produces a whole series of different interpretative challenges, also brought out by the specific atmosphere of the work, consisting of unusual melodies drawn through the finest transitions between the sections and coloured in different shades.
The Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet’s interpretation was on a high level. Taking into account the most complex of these works, Ravel’s String Quartet, it was noticeable that in their performance every detail interpreted was well thought-out and realized. The prankish pizzicato Scherzo dance had an effect of a restless Arabesque dance, with a logical sequence of melodies and facts. The meditative, slow movement, was most effective with its well-structured melody lines, which could be followed as if it were some verbal discourse. The total sound of this ensemble is also on an enviable level.
In all three pieces played, it was visible that the sound could rise to orchestral dimensions, while on the other hand, the fine chamber tuning of some movements had a charming beauty of the sound. What should be particularly highlighted, is the professionalism of the quartet members, which is rarely found with our domestic ensembles. Their approach to performing the above pieces reflects a good conception and well-planned realization.
In all this, there is no place for any improvisation on the stage, all sections sounded completely prepared; the sound was compact to the maximum extent. After everything aforesaid, we may conclude that there is a serious ensemble on our domestic stage, a rare one of the kind engaged in performing chamber music. Every performance of theirs allows the audience not to bother about the technical details in their interpretation, for they are in maximum order. At their concerts, the listeners may freely plunge into the strange world of music performed.