Twins, rivals, complementary works, the String quartets of Debussy and Ravel shine like two stars in the firmament of French music. Into this constellation the musicians of the Zaïde quartet introduce a new star: the delicate piece by Cécile Buchet dedicated to the four elements.
A work of youth, Debussy’s Quartet (1893) is the composer’s homage to a "classical" formation to which he would not return. While the influence of Cesar Franck is clearly perceptible, the four movements of the score already testify to the freedom of form, harmonic poetry, and care for sonic textures unique to the future master.
The Andalusian colour of the second movement fascinated Ravel, who recalled it when commencing work on his own quartet, in 1903. Dedicated to Faure, the piece bears witness to the clarity of Ravelian lines, and if Debussy’s shadow remains present, the intensive use of pizzicati, the obsessional elements and high-precision rhythmic mechanics are typical of the inventor of the Bolero. Framed by these two pillars of the repertoire, Cécile Buchet’s piece entrusts to the alchemy of the quartet the task of evoking, in four magnetic chapters, the poetry both physical and spiritual of the four elements.
First violin Charlotte Maclet
Second violin Leslie Boulin Raulet
Viola Céline Tison
Cello Juliette Salmona
Photo © Laura Stevens
Quatuor en sol mineur, op. 10
Les quatre éléments
Quatuor en fa majeur, op. 35