Soovin Kim (Johannes Quartet) Responds to Questions: Why this repertoire? Why now?

By pcurchack on February 4, 2011

As part of our new initiative exploring how artists choose the programs they present, we asked Soovin Kim of the Johannes Quartet the following questions:

PCMS:  Why did you choose this particular repertoire for your concert?  Why perform these pieces at this time?

Johannes QuartetSoovin Kim: (as edited by Peggy L. Curchack, Education Director)

The Johannes Quartet has always had a particular love for exploring the Mozart quartets. The first piece that we ever read, before we even decided to be a quartet, was Mozart's last quartet, K. 590 in F Major. We have found these works to be the greatest challenge and ultimately the most rewarding.  Webern was also of special interest to us in our early years together, and we found that his works paired beautifully with Mozart's. The two men share an incredible attention to the tiniest details, and the performers' and audience's senses are sharpened during an effective performance of these works - to a greater degree than in works by virtually any other composer. Kurtag is one of the few composers who is able to achieve the same effect, probably stemming from his early obsession of Webern's succinct musical language. Both Kurtág and Webern composed movements that can be as brief as 30 seconds and only as long as a few minutes. This is a program in which active and attentive listening will be rewarded by an appreciation for the richness of the music's beautiful detail and expression. Hopefully we will all be sitting together on the edge of our seats!

The Johannes Quartet appears with PCMS on Sunday, February 13th at 3 pm at the American Philosophical Society (427 Chestnut Street).  For tickets and information, please click here or call the PCMS Box Office at 215-569-8080.