Maike Charlotte Fuchs
+49 30 214 594-220
+49 30 214 594-236
Grote Kerk, ’s-Hertogenbosch
Antti Tikkanen, violin
Minna Pensola, violin
Atte Kilpeläinen, viola
Tomas Djupsjöbacka, violoncello
The four Finns approached the Haydn quartet so energetically that the work never sounded stuffy, but rather often very current with its clear, occasionally minimal lines, echo-like passages and short pizzicato notes which seem to appear from nowhere, whilst not losing the classical references to the fugue and its corresponding pathos. Despite the complexity and the moments of controlled frenzy, the interpretation was always so transparent that the details were clearly audible. Hamburger Abendblatt, 11.07.16
Meta4, formed in Finland in 2001, is one of the most internationally successful string quartets. The four musicians, who also share a close personal friendship, are united in their musical openness, curiosity and versatility. Musically, they are characterised by their “breathtaking vitality” (Badische Zeitung), a ”transparent, richly coloured sound” (Rondo), as a ”breath of fresh air” and for their “sense of humour" (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
Meta4 are currently receiving great acclaim for their recording of octets by Mendelssohn and Enescu with the Gringolts Quartet, released by BIS records. The two ensembles often play these works in celebrated octet concerts. With the vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices, Meta4 have just arranged a pocket-sized version of Mozart’s Requiem. The quartet specialises in working with orchestras, leading programmes without conductor from the principal positions, in a kind of “four-wheel drive”. In this role, the Quartet has already worked with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Lahti Symphony and the Orchestre d’Auvergne amongst others. In recent seasons, the quartet thrilled audience and critics alike with its performances in Kaija Saariaho’s chamber opera “Only the Sound Remains” at the Finnish National Opera, the Opéra de Paris, the Teatro Real Madrid and the Lincoln Center in New York.
In 2004, Meta4 won the first prize in the International Shostakovich Quartet Competition in Moscow, where they were also awarded a special prize for the best Shostakovich interpretation. In 2007, the Quartet won the first prize in the International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna. Later that year the Finnish Minister of Culture awarded Meta4 with the annual Finland Prize in recognition of an international breakthrough. They were selected as a BBC New Generation Artist for 2008‐2010 and took part in the 20th anniversary celebration concert at Wigmore Hall, collaborating for the first time with Khatia Bunitiashvili. In 2013, the Fund of Jenny and Antti Wihuri awarded the quartet with a special prize in recognition of its work. Meta4 also served as Artistic Director of the Oulunsalo Music Festival between 2008 and 2011, and as quartet‐in-residence at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival from 2008 to 2017. Meta4 performs regularly in key music capitals and concert halls around the world including the Wiener Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall and Kings Place in London, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Cité de la Musique in Paris and Stockholms Konserthus.
Meta4 studied at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) under Hatto Beyerle and Johannes Meissl. They have released three recordings on Hänssler Classic to date: Haydn’s String Quartets op. 55 1–3 (2009), which was awarded with the esteemed Echo Klassik Award 2010, and Shostakovich’s String Quartets 3, 4 & 7 (2012), which received the Record of the Year 2012 award from the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE and the Emma prize (the Finnish Grammys) for Classical Album of the Year, as well as Béla Bartók’s String Quartets 1 & 5. Meta4 has also released two albums of Kaija Saariaho’s chamber music works (Ondine, 2013) and Sibelius’s String Quartet ‘Voces Intimae’ on LP (Berliner Meister Schallplatten, 2013). 2019 saw the release of their first album for ECM Records, with Brahms Clarinet Quintet and Gérard Pesson’s Nebenstück together with Reto Bieri.
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Discovering this work has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done this month. Trust me - buy a copy [On Enescu’s Octet].
The arts desk.com, Graham Rickson, 27 June 2020
An outstanding coupling (on the CD with octets by Mendelssohn and Enescu with the Gringolts Quartet)
The Strad, Julian Haylock, 26 March 2020
Oh, the virtuosity, what a double role! Meta4 demonstrated at Sibelius Hall why they are one of the most recognized chamber music groups in the world.
Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, Petri Poutiainen, 30 March 2019
In the slow second movement, the audience experienced the magical moment when the Ensemble layered the slow sequences on top of each other with calmness and abandonment. It was as if I was watching a clockmaker who carefully assembles a clock with tweezers and love. In the concert hall, there was transcendence and quietness while the musicians let the end of the movement slowly fall into silence, note by note.
Bachtrack, Stefan Pillhofer, 11 July 2016
The young Finns interpreted this music ingeniously. Their hands-on approach, their determined and occasionally primitive (yet always masterfully shaped) sound – including ethereal pianissimi – and their perfect stylistic rapport resulted in music-making which unfurled this music’s vital power.
Badische Zeitung, Nikolaus Cybinski, 22 January 2016
… the breath of fresh air and sense of humour of the Finnish Meta4 quartet…
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Harald Eggebrecht, 19 July 2015
Gringolts Quartet, Meta4
BIS Records, 2020, B084DGD8PK
Johannes Brahms: Quintet op. 115
Reto Bieri, Clarinet; Meta4
ECM, 2019, 2557
Ondine, 2016, ODE 1189-2
Haenssler classic, 2014, 980360000000
Ondine, 2013, ODE 12222
Haenssler classic, 2012, 98644
Haenssler classic, 2009, 98587
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