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Catch-up premiere of Johannes X. Schachtner’s String Quartet No. 3 “vor Anker”

Hochgeladene Datei

The planned premiere of the String Quartet No. 3 “vor Anker” by Johannes X. Schachtner was to have taken place as early as 2020 but has been postponed several times due to the Corona crisis. On 30 September 2021, the work is finally to be premiered in Munich by the Zentaur Quartet.

Johannes X. Schachtner has so far presented three string quartets. His first compositional engagement with this challenging genre took place in 2008 while still a student. At that time, he wrote a one-movement quartet for violinist Julia Fischer in which the note “a” is the starting point, the vanishing point and the point of rest and recurs in a ritornello-like manner, with jocular episodes appearing in between. This quartet was given the title “alpha” after its premiere. In 2015, the 2nd string quartet “quasi una serenata” followed. Schachtner did not back away from his preference for subtitles in the most recent contribution to this genre, the String Quartet No. 3 “vor Anker” (At Anchor).

The composer explains his relationship to the string quartet genre and the background to the subtitle of String Quartet No. 3 “vor Anker” as follows:


“A special challenge to the string quartet instrumentation are the double violins: after overcoming the classical-romantic compositional technique, these forces of attraction have been lost, and tonal individuality is in the foreground - so after my first string quartet, the two string trios that followed were very instructive in this development process. I chose a special disposition for my second string quartet: the second violin is tuned down a quarter tone throughout, giving it a special role. All four movements of the ‘quasi una serenata’ quartet refer to a movement form that determines the character of the movement.

Immediately afterwards, reconciled with the quartet instrumentation, a third string quartet was composed with the title ‘vor Anker’ (at anchor), which is very close in content to the hymn for piano four hands ‘pacifico’. When a ship is ‘at anchor’, it is in a state between freedom at sea and safety in the harbour. You experience the forces of the water, but you are not directly exposed to them. This suspended state is the starting point of my string quartet ‘at anchor’, in which Franz Schubert’s ‘calm of the sea’ is repeatedly invoked.”

Premiere Johannes X. Schachtner
String Quartet No. 3 “vor Anker” (at Anchor)
Zentaur Quartet.

Photo: © Florian Fritz

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