LATER in the day on Wednesday, the Danish String Quartet sandwich Nielsen’s G minor quartet Op 13 between performances of Mozart’s ‘Dissonance’ quartet and Beethoven’s Op 127 (No 12).
The Danish composer’s string quartet compositions are rather confused, suffice to say his output in the form – all early-ish – has a definitive four works emerging with G minor quartet credited as the first of them, although seemingly not referred to as No 1.
It is also the most popular of them and one of the composer’s most frequently performed works, according to the Nielsen Society.
Rapidly rising in international fame, the Danish String Quartet, reported as highly personable and thoroughly engaging, are competition specialists.
After making their debut in 2002, they went on to win first prize in two Scandinavian competitions and one in Holland before crossing the English Channel in March 2009 and claiming five of the nine prizes, including the main one, at the 11th London International String Competition.
Peter Cropper, one of competition judges, was bowled over by them. He said: “I have never been more impressed by a young quartet than with the Danish String Quartet.”
Among other things, being engaged as artist in residence by Danish Radio in 2006 enabled the quartet to commercially record all the Nielsen string quartets, which were greeted with critical acclaim upon their release.
When they played the one in F major on the occasion of their New York debut, the New York Times critic was ecstatic, saying: “I cannot imagine a more involved performance,” while being carried away by the Danes’ engaging and inviting demeanour.