Monday 3 December 2012

Lost and Found - a Brodsky Quartet Adventure

The Brodsky Quartet is currently celebrating their 40th anniversary (see our blog post) with a series of concerts which includes their Wheel of 4Tunes, where the audience gets to choose the programme from 40 different string quartets. Whilst touring the Netherlands, their car was broken into, a laptop stolen along with a bag containing all the viola and cello parts for all the 40 quartets being offered. A devastating loss.

It is, perhaps, difficult for a non-musician to comprehend the loss of a such a set of parts, some dating back to the quartet's first years and all carefully marked up so that the part is an accumulation of the quartet's thinking about the work, as well as all the useful little tricks such as smooth page turns at difficult moments.The robbery was reported to the police, and it turned out a number of other cars had been burgled, so it was probably a professional job. The laptop the thieves might find useful, but viola and cello parts.

The quartets next programme had to inevitably offer a fixed programme with no audience choice, and cellist Jacqueline Thomas was wearing borrowed clothes. Then there began the soul destroying task of recovering the music for the 40 quartet parts and re-creating the markings. Then came the good news. Once back at home, busy starting this process, Jacqueline Thomas got a phone call from a Dutch policemen. They'd found her bag, still with all the scores. It had been found by accident, the policeman had been attending a road traffic accident, and it looked as if the thieves had tried to throw the bag into the canal and, happily, failed!

The Brodsky Quartet will be at Kings Place from 6 to 8 December with three concerts celebrating their 40th anniversary, including George Crumb's Black Angel and their Wheel of 4Tunes programme. Further information from the Kings Place website

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