Today marks the release of Every Moment Present, the debut album from the Solera Quartet. Comprised of three string quartets by Mendelssohn, Janáček, and Caroline Shaw, the album explores the role of obsessive thought as creative muse.
On the album concept , the Quartet remarks:
“Every Moment Present draws us into three distinctly creative musical minds - each gripped by a consuming and ever-present focus during the conception of these works. Janáček’s Intimate Letters is an expression of the composer’s insatiable infatuation with a married woman 37 years his junior. Erratically swinging between wild howls and whispered promises, the work paints a daring portrait of maddening, unrequited love. Inviting us into an airier space, Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte embraces sudden, surprising musical shifts as an idée fixe. Inspired by a breathtakingly unexpected shift of character and key in Haydn’s Op. 77 No. 2, Entr’acte quietly captivates as it moves between moments that in Shaw’s own words: ‘take you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, technicolor transition.’ Lastly, Mendelssohn wrote his Op. 80 String Quartet while grieving the sudden and tragic loss of his beloved sister, Fanny. In turn, the work ruminates relentlessly on the many faces of mortality and the struggle to understand and live alongside it. It was Mendelssohn own letters during this period that inspired the album’s title. Expressing the profundity of his loss, he explained that Fanny was “every moment present” to him as an artistic champion, kindred soul, and collaborator. In this context, “every moment present” also poetically describes our hope for the power of art - to deepen and enliven our ability to be fully present in the moment - for ourselves and for one another.“
I: Caroline Shaw: Entr'acte
II-V: Leoš Janáček: String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters"
VI-IX: Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80