String Quartet, 2016
by Marcel Zaes

Isomorph was pre-premiered at the Central European University of Budapest in February 2016 and world-premiered at Galerie Stephan Witschi, Zurich, in April 2016 by the Budapest-based Classicus Quartet:
Réka Baksai - violin
József Rácz - violin
Péter Tornyai - viola
Tamás Zétényi - violoncello

The American premiere took place on November 10th, 2016, at swissnex Boston, co-produced by Non-Event Boston, with:
Kate Outterbridge - violin
Josie Davis - violin
Ashley Frith - viola
Laura Cetilia - violoncello

Even though the questioned string quartet is an entirely acoustic piece of music, Zaes’ background of electronic music is clearly audible. He considers the century-old formation as a sound body consisting of four string instruments, which get used as technical machines rather than human beings. Additive principles deriving from electronic music synthesis are the basis. Each player creates highly fragile sounds that melt with the other instruments. This string quartet is a quiet, delicate work, which negates romantic expression and virtuosity, but in doing so creates again virtuosity on a different level: the score needs to be played at machine-like precision and synchronicity between the four players. Gradually changing textures are repeated for long durations and require highest concentration from the players. Aside from several loud accents, the music remains at the piano-pianissimo level and hence shifts the spectators’ perception towards the physical qualities of sound.


With Laura Cetilia, Josie Davis, Ashley Frith,
Kate Outterbridge
10 Nov 2016 - swissnex - Boston US


With Classicus Quartet (Réka Baksai,
József Rácz, Péter Tornyai, Tamás Zétényi)
23 Apr 2016 - Druckereihalle - Basel US

22 Apr 2016 - Orbital Garden - Bern CH

21 Apr 2016 - Galerie Witschi - Zurich CH

2 Feb 2016 - CEU - Budapest HU