Help the Butter Quartet record their debut album!
We are a historically-informed string quartet based in the Netherlands. After five years of performing together internationally, we are recording our debut album, Scintilla, based around early Italian string quartets. While researching first editions and manuscripts, we found many 18th-century quartets that have never been recorded, but which are incredibly dynamic, powerful, and joyful. We have combined two unrecorded works with a famous work
Help the Butter Quartet record their debut album!
We are a historically-informed string quartet based in the Netherlands. After five years of performing together internationally, we are recording our debut album, Scintilla, based around early Italian string quartets. While researching first editions and manuscripts, we found many 18th-century quartets that have never been recorded, but which are incredibly dynamic, powerful, and joyful. We have combined two unrecorded works with a famous work by Boccherini and a lesser-known work by Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen to tell the story of the diverse beginnings of the string quartet. Help us make this recording possible!
About the music
Shimmering strings and effortless stylishness: Scintilla is the early Italian string quartet. It is the spark of the Enlightenment, the brilliance of galant taste, and the beginnings of the genius idea that is the string quartet.
The string quartet is a somewhat mythical genre. Over the centuries, many composers have used the intimacy and harmonic fullness of the string quartet to explore their most daring ideas and express their most intense emotions. String quartet lore is often neatly traced back through the Classical era to Franz Joseph Haydn. Though his genius cannot be overstated, it is fascinating and beautifully rewarding to peer beyond Haydn and shine a light on his Italian contemporaries who were also crafting exquisite string quartets.
In the 18th century, Italian virtuosi/composers could be found performing throughout Europe. All of the composers featured in Scintilla were famous violin virtuosi, with the exception of Boccherini who played the cello. Their work as performers was inseparable from the music they composed. Italian galant music and performers were characterized by gorgeous tone, operatic sensibilities, and virtuosic ornamentation. Importantly, recent scholarship highlights the specifically Italian vocabulary of the galant style and its international influence. Scintilla does the same by giving early Italian string quartets their own stage.
Though galant music has a specific vocabulary, the string quartets of Scintilla are incredibly diverse in form and affect. Indeed, galant (a term that, unlike many musicological terms, was also used at the time) simply meant that the music was suited to the “traits, attitudes, and manners of the cultured nobility.” The quartets of Scintilla are as varied as the unique personalities and ever-changing trends of the 18th century.
Like sparks, the works of Giardini, Lombardini Sirmen, Boccherini, and Pugnani have ignited centuries of string quartet composition. And also like sparks, they shine in their own right.
About the Butter Quartet
Anna Jane Lester, violin
Chloe Prendergast, violin
Isabel Franenberg, viola
Evan Buttar, cello
The Butter Quartet consists of four musicians brought together by their mutual love of vibrant historically-informed performance of string quartets. They first formed as participants in a course at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, but soon developed a passion and dynamic that extended beyond their studies. They have been featured in festivals and series internationally, such as the Beethoven Academy at the National Forum for Music in Poland in 2020, the Mozartfest Würzburg and the Festival d'Ambronay in 2021, and an upcoming concert in the Utrecht Early Music Festival 2022. Their performances have been broadcast on national classical radio in the Netherlands (NPO4), the UK (BBC3), France (France Musique), and Slovenia (RTV Slovenija).
After competing as finalists in the 2019 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, they were awarded a place in the prestigious EEEMERGING+ professional development scheme for young European ensembles.
The Butter Quartet enjoys integrating their research on late 18th- and early 19th-century performance practice into powerful live performances. When international touring became quiet in 2020, the Butter Quartet responded by partnering with community organizations to create a grassroots concert tour supported by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Fonds Podiumkunsten. In addition to early quartet repertoire, the Butter Quartet is interested in contemporary music, bringing the same spirit of discovery to newly-composed works for historically-setup instruments.
This crowdfunding will help to cover the costs of recording the album and production of the CDs. This includes venue rental, a recording engineer and producer, standard musician fees, and crowdfunding fees.
You can expect these rewards sometime in 2023!
*Shipping costs of rewards outside of EU not included, but we travel a lot and will work it out with you.
Thank you for your support and keep "spreading" the love! 💛
Looking forward to hearing this CD !
Frank & Liesbeth29-08-2022 21:41
For a string quartet lover like myself this is a fantastic initiative!
yay friends doing amazing things!