The Bennewitz Quartet exuded a boyish flair to the music they played. Photo: Pavel Ovsík
The Bennewitz Quartet have been together since 1998 when they met at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and are named after the Czech violinist Antonin Bennewitz. The concert started with Ravel’s “Quartet in F Major.” Ravel’s string quartet premiered in 1904 in Paris, and was initially not very well received. This caused him to lose his place in the Conservatoire, but rather than kill his career, this piece (his only string quartet) propelled him forward. Debussy, an inspiration of his, wrote to him, saying, “In the name of the Gods of music and in my own, do not touch a single note you have written in your Quartet.” Apparently the criticism stems from the lack of classical structure and simplicity throughout, but it is this deviation that gives the quartet an engaging flow.