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Diderot String Quartet


Bear Machine

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In their second release with Bear Machine Records, Diderot String Quartet presents a masterful performance of Jadin's String Quartet in E flat, Op. 2, No. 1. Undeniably influenced by Mozart's famous "Dissonance" Quartet (Diderot String Quartet: Bear Machine Records, 2018), the work's opening Largo conjures a menacing sunrise only to give way to a kaleidoscope of moods that could obviously only come from a playful mind. From the expansive warmth of the Allegro Moderato, to the lovesick pleas of the Adagio, the jovial Menuetto, and the joyously raucous Finale Allegro, Diderot String Quartet leads an expert tour through the soul of this now forgotten composer. 

Born in 1776 as the spirit of revolution starts to sweep across the world, Hyacinthe Jadin is a composer who might have become a household name were it not for his short and tragic life. A prodigy from an early age, Jadin was first published at nine years old and made his concert debut at Paris' legendary Concert Spirituel at thirteen. He lived and died in the shadow of Versailles, where his father was a bassoonist and oboist and his older brother served as piano teacher to Marie-Antoinette, in the final days of the Royal Court Orchestra. But as the French Revolution swept away the Anciene Régime Jadin began composing for revolutionary festivals, and in 1795 he was appointed professor to the first class of women pianists at the newly created Paris Conservatoire. Despite his bright beginning Jadin's health began to fail him, leading Napoleon Bonaparte to personally excuse him from military service, granting Jadin the rest of his short life to compose and perform. After his final performance of one his own piano concertos in June of 1800, Jadin disappeared from public life. Impoverished, he died of tuberculosis four months later at the age of 24 in his family home in Versailles. Despite such a short life, Jadin left behind over fifty works, including twelve string quartets that are finally garnering the composer the acclaim he's arguably deserved over the past 200 years.

Diderot String Quartet first formed in 2012 after some chance meetings at Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School. Their combined modern conservatory and early music training directly informs their unique perspective, breathing new life into familiar music, all while bringing unknown and underappreciated works to the ears of audiences across North America. Heralded for their "perfect blend of gravitas and lyricism" (Stage and Cinema, September 2018) Diderot String Quartet is in their fourth year as Quartet in Residence at the Washington National Cathedral. 

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