[ Joseph Haydn with the Lacerda Quartet in CCB, 27 feb 2012 ]
Diário Câmara Clara, RTP2, 14-03-2012 [ Joseph Haydn with the Lacerda Quartet in CCB, 27 feb 2012 ]
Without generalizing too much, classical music audiences are normally very temperamental: the slightest sound of a camera, or the briefest remark meet with a reproving look or a verbal “ shush”
This in total contrast with what is happening on stage: four musicians seated in a semi-circle performing Joseph Haydn in a relaxed and easy manner as might do a group of friends playing together.One cannot confuse the musicians relaxed manner with any lack of respect for Haydn´s work. This is treated in an exemplary manner with the Lacerda Quartet
The violinists Alexander Stewart and Marcos Lazaro, Paul Wakabayashi on the viola and Luís André Ferreira on the cello perform the string quartets Op 20 Nº5 in F minor and the Op 20 Nº 6 in A major with all the due respect that Haydn deserves.
It´s of no surprise his name:Papa Haydn, fruition of a profound affection and respect that musicians had for the composer. His string quartets and Symphonies were of such importance that he earned him the title “father of the symphony and string quartet.”
The quartets being performed here were written in 1772: a time where freedom, individualism and a return to nature started to emerge and which is revealed in an equality attributed to the four instruments in an innovatively formal and expressive manner.
And if there were any doubts that the Lacerda gave a wonderful concert, listen to the public´s ovation at the end: here the noise is not disturbing, its complimentary.
João Pimenta [ Tour in China, 2011 ]
On the 28th of July, 2011, one of Portugal's finest string ensembles, Lacerda Quartet, travelled the distance across China to the remote western province of Qinghai. There they were invited to perform in the opening ceremony of the Qaidam National Culture Festival. They overcame the altitude adjustment to perform the first movement of Mozart's String Quartet No.3 in Gmajor, K.156 W.A. to an enthralled audience. "Nihao Qinghai!" the musicians of Lacerda Quartet addressed an audience of more than one thousand in the Chinese they had especially studied before appearing on the stage - creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
During its China tour Lacerda Quartet performed in Shanghai, Yangzhou, Qingdao, Guangzhou and Qinghai from the 22–30 July, 2011. They performed not only the wonderful pieces for String Quartet of Mozart and Haydn's works but also the Seven Old Portuguese Chorals. Lacerda Quartet founded in 1990, the Quartet's experience, passion, and pure style of playing, left a deep impression on the audience. In Shanghai, the first stop of the tour and the four artists' first time to China, emotions were running high and the Quartet played an excellent concert to an 85% house.
The enthusiasm and curiosity of the audiences throughout the tour gave the musicians of Lacerda Quartet an unforgettable experience in China. They hope to perform here again in the near future.
Wu Promotion [ Sala Capitular do Mosteiro de Alcobaça - Alcobaça Music Festival, 15.05.2005 ]
“The Lacerda String Quartet reconfirmed its status as one of the most distinguished national chamber music ensembles, giving us a beautiful interpretation of Haydn’s Op77(…) Not only was the individual technical excellence and balance between the members remarkable, but also the richness of ensemble; where the harmonic construction and musical understanding were perfectly mirrored with coherent phrasing and homogenous ensemble ensemble playing; thus revealing a profound understanding of the works. This was patent in the performance of the particularly demanding string quartet by Luís de Freitas Branco.(1911)…
Manuel Pedro Ferreira, PÚBLICO 20.05.2005 [ Centro Cultural de Belém, 6.1.2001 ]
[title: To reiterate the success of the Lacerda String Quartet]
“Anyone who thought he was going to a serious chamber music recital dedicated to the Viennese Classics, the image of a huge number of children with their parents might have brought some doubts to being in the right place. Inside, another surprise: the hall was packed. If the goal was to achieve a wider public, then it was attained in the first concert – perhaps even too much!... The empathy that Delgado had with the public has been a decisive touch to the success of these concerts...”
Bernardo Mariano, Diário de Notícias 3.2.2001 [ São Carlos National Theatre, 22.6.1999 ]
“In Anamorphoses V” [by Isabel Soveral], the Lacerda String Quartet duly brought to the interpretation of modern music the inate qualities of a fine classical ensemble...”
“The national Lacerda String Quartet responded to the demanding task of performing side by side with the [Leipzig String Quartet]. They gave a rich interpretation of Moritz Eggerts’ string quartet and defended enthusiastically the work by Jens Thomas. The individual merits of each member of the quartet and the refined ensemble makes this group one really worth taking notice of…”
“The concert was presented with appealing enthusiasm by the viola player Alexandre Delgado and confirmed the developing quality of one of the most interesting Portuguese chamber groups. One should point out the wit and the textural clarity in the performance of Haydn’s “The Dream, in a program which included the quartets by Luís de Freitas Branco and Alexandre Delgado and the delightful Trio pieces by Francisco de Lacerda, which were a true revelation...”
Cristina Fernandes, PÚBLICO 10.6.1999 [ Fundação de Serralves, 12.12.1998 ]
“One last remark on the fine quality of the performances: Lacerda String Quartet...”
Fernando C. Lapa, PÚBLICO 23.12.1998
[ Haydn ]
A quartet´s coming of age
It was Joseph Haydn who gave prominence to the string quartet, transforming it to the heights of a privileged position in formal and stylistic experimentation. In attributing an equal level of importance to all four instruments in the quartet, in the interactive dialogue, and freeing them from the chains of simple accompaniment as in the Baroque Sonata form, it became possible to establish thematic development; until now inapparent- with a real impact on all levels of musical composition, as well as its interpretation.
Two centuries later, the challenge has not diminished: performing Joseph Haydn´s string quartets for all intents and purposes is a major task and the Lacerda undertook just that in 2009 200 years after the composer´s death; participating in the Portuguese Classical Radio´s project ( Antena 2) of transmitting all of Haydn´s quartets during the same year.
This CD in part is a result of that odyssey : crystalized in a condensed form with these 3 quartets that show distinctive moments in Haydn´s creative development: the 1st, Op 1 Nº 1, entitled “ The Hunt” was published in 1764; Op 77 Nº2 the last complete quartet, around 35 years later; and the emblematic Op 20 Nº4, written during the “ Sturm und Drang” period ( Storm and Fury), has been one of the most widely divulged and performed of all Haydn´s quartets.
This CD reveals the musicians profound understanding of Haydn´s works; the controlled contrasts of the 1st quartet in B flat major Op 1; the diversity of expression in the D major quartet Op 20 Nº4; and the understanding of the maturity which underlines the final quartet,the last to be completed- in the F major Op 77 Nº 2- in its melodic richness, and sophisticated tonal development which underlines each movement. With the Lacerda , all is clear, balanced, and indicates a profound understanding of each of the works- phrasing, breathing, and a clarity of articulation.
The present members of the Lacerda Quartet are Alexander Stewart and Regina Aires ( 1st and 2nd violin), Paul Wakabayashi (viola) and Luís André Ferreira ( cello). The quartet´s name originates from the composer Francisco de Lacerda, who was a disciple of ( Widor and d` Indy) and one of the 1st pupils from the famous “ Schola Cantorum” ; also becoming an established European conductor at the beginning of the 20th century.
This, the quartet´s third CD made up of Haydn´s excellent works comes after “ Música Portuguesa para quarteto de cordas,” in 2006 with works by Vianna da Motta, Luís de Freitas Branco and Francisco de Lacerda, and” Maelstrom/Labirinto” ( 2010) for string quartet and magnetic tape, by João Pedro Oliveira.
The choice of this Austrian composer- in all truth is an affirmation of the true origin of string quartet music, and certainly constitutes the coming of age of the quartet,in particular this quartet and its musicians.
Maria Augusta Gonçalves Jornal de Letras, Artes e Ideias (February 2012) [ Música Portuguesa Para Quarteto De Cordas ]
An essential recording for those who appreciate fine Portuguese composers.
Henrique Silveira Radio Programme “Seara de Sons” (13 April. 2006) [ Música Portuguesa Para Quarteto De Cordas ]
…a CD from the Recording Company Dargil´s- Diálogos series, entitled Portuguese music for String Quartet…..after the recordings of the Almeida Mota String Quartets by the Capela Quartet some years ago, here is a CD of other Portuguese composers who have written for the string quartet: Viana da Mota and Freitas Branco- The Lacerda is for string trio.Quarteto Lacerda have showed great initiative in recording these works, as well as revealing a fine level of artistry in their interpretation, which is particularly apparent in the Freitas Branco.This fine level of musicianship is also revealed in Quarteto Lacerda´s interpretation of the unpretentious musical miniatures from Francisco de Lacerda.Also noteworthy is the “ Adagio” from the Viana da Mota quartet entitled “Cena nas Montanhas”.
Bernardo Mariano Newspaper “Diário de Notícias” (01 Sep. 2006) [ Música Portuguesa Para Quarteto De Cordas ]
The repertoire on this CD should be by no means overlooked: not only is it fundamental concerning Portuguese music from 1890 until 1920 but it also includes a true European musical master-piece:the String Quartet by Luís de Freitas Branco, composed in 1911,worthy to stand alongside the finest of its kind from the early XXth century.The CD also includes 2 other well-established Portuguese composers: Viana da Mota and Francisco de Lacerda...Quarteto Lacerda`s interpretation for the the most part is secure, suggestive and sensitive…consider this recording an excellent tribute to culture, a must for the curious listener.
Recommended by “The Público”
Manuel Pedro Ferreira Newspaper “O Público” [ Música Portuguesa Para Quarteto De Cordas ]
The release of this CD marks a good start to the year; a CD that bears witness to the powerful resurgence of Portuguese music, from the turn of the XXth century.Side by side 3 fine composers- José Viana da Mota, Luís de Freitas Branco,Francisco de Lacerda-,3 wonderful works 2 never before recorded on CD and the excellent musicians from the Lacerda Quartet. …This CD also include brief but appealing programme notes, written by the composer and the viola player from the quartet.The CD cover depicts the beautiful “Dance” by Paula Rego, which could be seen as a voyage through the artist´s life, portrayed here in the music.
Maria Augusta Gonçalves Jornal de Letras, Artes e Ideias (18-31 Jan 2006)