Resilience Signum is a rather unusual title for an album of classical music. Freely translated, it is a sign of resistance and quite freely a call for resistance. An explanation of the musicians, what they understand by Resilience Signum can be found in the booklet of this album:
“The genesis for our album RESILIENCE was conceived during the tumultuous period leading up to and following the US presidential election of Fall 2016. Many millions across the world marched for a cause to address the divided nature of our society. These demonstrations led our quartet to wonder about our purpose as musicians during this time of social upheaval. We settled on the idea that we wanted to offer a message of strength and hope for our audiences across the globe. Furthermore, we wanted to demonstrate through our music that the power to be resilient is inside each of us.”
This is a strong political statement against global nationalism coming on populist feet. So clearly, if at all, this is currently not publicly announced by any other artist group, at least not by classical musicians. So that's the verbal message of the Calidore String Quartet. And what music does serve as a vehicle for this message?
Grief, pain and suffering is the common denominator of the music on this album. Prokofiev's second quartet was written in 1941, when the German army approached the city limits of Moscow and artists of the city, among them the composer, had been evacuated to the south of the Soviet Union. This historical background is superimposed as a dark shadow on the three quartet movements determined by life-affirming folk dances. Despite everything, especially in the last sentence hope for better times for the maltreated country flares up again and again.
Janáček's first string quartet is based on Tolstoy's story "Kreuzer Sonata", which tells of unhappy love. The basic mood of the four-movement work is correspondingly gloomy, but it always reveals hope for happiness, for which the exponent of the narrative fights violently, but ultimately in vein. Osvaldo Golijov's one-movement work Tenebrae, written in 2000, reflects the blatant brutality of hostile struggles, exemplified by the Middle East. Peaceful prospects: no indication. Felix Mendelssohn's sixth string quartet stands out from his otherwise bright and joyful quartet works through his profoundly gloomy mood, which is caused by the death of his beloved sister Fanny. He not only complains, but also angrily protests against the blow of fate, the loss of a loved one has as consequence.
The Calidore String Quartet act wide-awake and flexible in the realization of the heart-stirring moods of the compositions presented on Resilience Signum. Nothing is glossed over. Rather, all the despair and mourning are fully exploited, so that the rather rare rays of light flash correspondingly bright. The four musicians of the Calidore Quartet musically support the statement quoted above against global nationalism coming on populist feet, apparently with the optimism that is inherent even in the basically pessimistic quartet compositions assembled on this album.
Calidore String Quartet