“New Work by Andreia Pinto Correia inspired by Poem by Hart Crane” (January 26, 2018)
Written by Diário de Notícias
Published by National Broadcast Agency (Agência Lusa)
Next Saturday, Portuguese composer Andreia Pinto Correia will have a premiere of her first work written for string quartet, inspired by the poem “The Bridge” by Hart Crane (1899-1932) which in turn was inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge.
Performed by the North American ensemble JACK Quartet, the world premiere of String Quartet No. 1 – Unvanquished Space, commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, is scheduled for 6pm as part of the Foundation’s String Quartet Festival.
The epic poem that inspired Andreia Pinto Correia, published in 1930, was the only extended poem by Crane, a writer who was part of the “New York School” that transformed North American poetry in the 20th century. The poem is inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge, located near where the composer currently lives.
The poet saw New York and the (Brooklyn) Bridge “as a symbol not only of America but ultimately of the world, poetry and art, of everything that he most admired from the American dream and sense of discovery, to disillusionment and the least positive aspects of modernization,” explained the composer to Lusa.
“When I read the book, I identified myself with Crane’s poetic, musical, and dramatic vision, with all the aspects of this extended and dense epic filled with symbology and mythology. It is an extremely rich text, a web, a labyrinth of associations and allusions,” the composer added.
The idea to write her first string quartet was born four years ago, in conversation with Risto Nieminen, director of Gulbenkian Música. This idea gained momentum due to the friendship that the composer maintains with the string quartet that will perform the work.
To Andreia Pinto Correia, writing for string quartet was somewhat “limiting”, but mainly ” a challenge and a proof of fire”, as it is a format for which she is not used to writing. “Although the string quartet was a medium with which I was initially not comfortable, it enable me to unearth a side of my writing that I would not have have discovered otherwise. This has been extremely important for me, as it will allow me to grow as a composer,” she explained.
During the compositional process the composer realized that :the more she wrote, the more she enjoyed writing for this ensemble”. This “refreshing” impact brought her “to discover new ways of approaching writing, of thinking about writing, and also towards the approach to the specific instruments”, all reasons that led her to consider a second string quartet to follow. One of the factors that no doubt was helpful was the opportunity to write for “such a high level ensemble”, with whom she maintains a friendship. “There is a certain intimacy in my writing for them because I know them so well. It is a luxury”.
John Richards, founding member of the ensemble remarked to Lusa that “Andreia attended all of the JACK concerts in New York during last year. It is possible that she would understand our way of performing better than we do”, the musician added. regarding the work that they will be premiering in Lisbon, in four movements – each dedicated to a particular member of the quartet and related to different parts of Crane’s poem – Richard describes it as a work that fits into the ensemble’s interests for its rhythmic virtuosity and harmonic intrigue”.