The transcription of the Goldberg Variations took place within a context of total respect for the original text. No change of notes or rhythms. The transcription is based on an “orchestration” of the text for four string players. As in an orchestra, all the instruments in the string quartet are not systematically required simultaneously: variations for two, three, or four instruments follow in succession. This redistribution of the material enables new lines to be heard that are often di cult to hear within the uniform sound context of the piano or harpsichord. The Goldberg Variations are a model of polyphonic writing, a synthesis of Bach’s art and contrapunctal mastery: the fugue, the canon, the French overture … Nevertheless, the work cannot be reduced to some mere austere exercise: the dances that permeate the cycle confer a superior dimension of accomplishment to the twilight of the baroque era.
In the last ten years, something remarkable has happened in the world of the string quartet. The Ardeo Quartet, founded in 2001, is one of the rising stars… several international prizes – in Bordeaux, Moscow, Melbourne as well as the Premio Paolo Borciani – have come as rewards for its exceptional qualities. Faithfully supported by Mécénat Musical Société Générale, the quartet has been in residence at the Singer- Polignac Foundation between 2008 and 2016, participated in different professional and cultural projects with Pro-Quartet since 2005. In Paris, the Ardeo Quartet has played at the Cité de la Musique, the Orsay Museum, the Théâtre du Chatelet and the Centre Georges Pompidou and has played in the most important festivals in France and abroad – the Radio France Festival (Montpellier), the ‘Folles Journées’, “Aspects” (Caen), les Jacobins (Toulouse) the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Beethovenfestspiel (Bonn), Kuhmo (Finland), Davos (Switzerland), Lockenhaus (Austria), the Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, IMS Prussia Cove… Ardeo regularly shares the stage with Bertrand Chamayou, Renaud Capuçon, Henri Demarquette, Alain Meunier, Mario Brunello, Andrei Korobeinikov and works in close collaboration with the pianist David Kadouch and the clarinet player, Reto Bieri. The four young ladies’ repertoire is very wide, including contemporary works. They have shown great character, integrity, inspired and powerful musicianship in the last 16 years and have proved themselves to be one of the best quartets of their generation.