l’Odyssée Frank martin


Face to face

Friday 26 april 2024 8PM

Free admission upon reservation

Théâtre Les Salons

Two composers. One string quartet apiece. Maurice Ravel and Frank Martin come face to face in this meeting of masterpieces brought to us by the acclaimed Terpsycordes Quartet. Igor Stravinsky’s Three Pieces mediate the encounter.


RAYA RAYTCHEVA, second violin




FRANK MARTIN, String Quartet

IGOR STRAVINSKY, Three pieces for String Quartet

MAURICE RAVEL, Quartet in F major

Performance running time: 60 minutes, without intermission.
Concert will be followed by a reception to celebrate the release of the new album.

Maurice Ravel and Frank Martin: two composers who have little in common except that each composed a single string quartet. Both may be hailed as masterpieces, but Ravel’s quartet (1903) continues to be played in venues over the world, while Martin’s (1967) is rarely performed today. Terpsycordes Quartet unites these two composers as it celebrates the release of the quartet’s new album (Claves Records, 2024), which invites us to rediscover the allure of Martin’s quartet.

Ravel’s rhythmic effusion contrasts with Martin’s more austere style and yet both works succeed in casting the same melodic spell. The programme is completed by Igor Stravinsky’s short but commanding Three Pieces, dedicated to the Swiss conductor and musicologist Ernest Ansermet, who was born in Vevey, but made Geneva his home.

Free admission upon reservation

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A prism of musical repertoires. A multiplicity of approaches. A kaleidoscope of personalities. All these different facets combine to make up the unique character of Terpsycordes Quartet. Founded in 1997 in Geneva, Terpsycordes Quartet trained with Gábor Takács-Nagy and was subsequently coached by members of the Budapest, Hagen, Lasalle and Mosaïque Quartets. The ensemble was awarded First Prize at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2001. The talent of these four musicians of diverse origins (Italy, Bulgaria, France and Switzerland) radiates both on stage and in the recording studio.

Their albums, which have been acclaimed by the classical music press, reflect a determination to get to the very essence of every piece they play, combining rigour with imagination. They include recordings of Schubert, Beethoven and Haydn on period instruments (Ricercar and Ambronay), Schumann’s quartets (Claves), Vierne’s Quintet with piano (Brilliant Classics), as well as modern and contemporary works by Swiss composers (Bloch and Gerber by VDE Gallo, and Zanon by Claves) and incursions into the worlds of tango (Piazzolla with William Sabatier) and jazz (with Maël Godinat Trionyx).

Quatuor Terpsycordes is actively involved in social and educational projects, partnering up with foundations, associations and centres for disabled, vulnerable and incarcerated people. The ensemble also collaborates with students in local schools, inspiring the next generation of budding artists and composers. The four musicians are not afraid to break with tradition to share their passion and bring the magic of chamber music to diverse audiences and unexpected places. In 2022, the ensemble celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of 25 events, including a musical hike up Salève mountain and a bike ride through the vineyards of Mandement. Outside of Geneva, Terpsycordes regularly dazzles audiences at major concert halls and festivals all over the world, always keeping their ears attuned to their muse Terpsichore, who unites gesture with spirit. Terre, psy, cordes.