Session Report: the Chiaroscuro Quartet on Mozart’s ‘Prussian’ Quartets

chiaroscuro_garden Eva Vermandel

The members of the Chiaroscuro Quartet on combining detailed preparation while retaining a sense of spontaneity when recording Mozart’s ‘Prussian’ Quartets

Explore more Featured Stories  like this in The Strad Playing Hub

Read more premium content for subscribers here

That the musicians of the Chiaroscuro Quartet play with classical bows on gut strings and use a historical approach in their work together is no secret. ‘But sometimes it’s actually better not to know,’ says cellist Claire Thirion. Seeing things through a historical lens is, it turns out, far from their primary motivation.

‘I think our main thing is sound, contrast and the message,’ explains first violinist Alina Ibragimova. ‘Every note has to have a message and anything we do stylistically is to help with that message. So we don’t do rules. Everything is done for an expressive reason – there’s no dynamic marking, no little dot on a note that doesn’t have an emotional reason behind it.’…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.