(2017) - string quartet no. 2

Commissioned by the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik and WDR

First performance: 05 May 2017, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, JACK quartet

live broadcast

festival's program


  • May 5th, 2017

    Pathos of Distance, string quartet no. 2

    May 5th, 2017 - JACK Quartet - Witten's Johanniskirche, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik

  • May 5th, 2017

    Pathos of Distance, string quartet no. 2

    JACK Quartet - Witten's Johanniskirche (DE)


  • Pathos of Distance, string quartet no. 2

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Concerts & events

Press Clippings

  • May 13th, 2017

    Neue Zürcher Zeitung

    Um «verschiedene Bewusstseinszustände» dreht sich hingegen das zweite Streichquartett «Pathos of Distance» von Oscar Bianchi aus Mailand. Als Schüler von Salvatore Sciarrino und Zögling von Fausto Romitelli besitzt der italienisch-schweizerische Komponist ein feines Gespür für geräuschhafte, stille Klanglichkeiten, die tief in Raum und Zeit atmen. Zunächst muss sich jedoch das Cello gegen das brummende Geratter von Waldteufeln durchsetzen.

  • May 15th, 2017


    In the late evening of the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik‘s opening day, inside the town’s small but elegantly decorated Johanniskirche, the JACK Quartet gave the world premières of a pair of works of an entirely different disposition from that of Ferneyhough and Birtwistle, heard earlier that afternoon.

    Oscar Bianchi, Italian-Swiss composer Oscar Bianchi‘s Pathos of Distance essentially re-programs the string quartet such that the cello becomes a conspicuous rogue element. Through a mixture of whirling, clicking, whirring and croaking wald teufels (a.k.a. forest devils or, most appropriately, frog callers) and more protracted, harmonic- and tremolando-laden bowed materials, the upper strings were clearly well-disposed to work together, sharing and imitating. Whereas the cello – visually enhanced by Kevin McFarland’s unique attire, jacket-less with shirt sleeves rolled up – took on the role of ‘bovver boy’, grinding, twanging, buzzing and poinging his strings, de- and re-tuning them, often situated four or five octaves below the rest. Both the exploration of this relationship – which did vary, and at times all four players were clearly united – as well as Bianchi’s intricate and imaginative textural narrative were engrossing, right up until the somewhat ritualistic final minutes, including a wave of ‘roars’, a viola and cello duet (the viola now also detuned, and played with a cello bow!) and a concluding flurry of ratcheting. Thoroughly immersive and, in the best possible sense, entertaining.