JBOL0003-1Timothy Crawford
Clementine Metcalfe
Catherine Manson
Timothy Posner

In studying this quartet during the MusicWorks course in August 2011, we decided from the outset that the sound of Kreisler’s playing style was an absolutely integral part of the composition. Kreisler was the first violinist in history to use vibrato as a constant basis of sound production so we had to set to work on discovering the secrets of that iconic vibrato which gave his playing its particular intensity and sweetness. However this is by no means the whole picture as this kind of vibrato also goes hand-in-hand with a very specific bowing technique in which economy of movement and focus of sound are also essential. In addition to this, the exact nature of the slides or ‘portamenti’ which are so much part of this style had to be studied until we felt they had been incorporated as a natural part of our musical expressive language. Kreisler himself was very helpful in including fingerings in the violin and viola parts so we could decode the special effects he intended. Simple tricks like repeating the same note with a different finger, often on a lower string, lend a special emphasis and are trademarks of the Kreisler style. Finally we felt we had come close to becoming fluent in Kreisler’s musical language and we had a wonderful time discovering this music and entertaining each other with the images that the music conjured up for each of us. We hope that many others will come to love it like we do.

Catherine Manson