Exclusive: String quartet drops ‘far-right’ cellist

We hear the Leipzig String Quartet has replaced cellist Matthias Moosdorf with Peter Bruns.

Moosdorf has been fairly outspoken online with support for AFD-linked issues.

No reason has been given for his replacement.

The all male quartet has a turbulent history of replacements and reinstatements.

It appears the unlucky Stefan Arzberger is now back in the first chair.

This is the still unannounced new lineup.

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    That’s because he shouldn’t be that far-right, he should be center-right, between the second violin and the viola.

    • Far-right cellists are a reaction to the always leftish 1st violins in string quartets, and even in symphony orchestras the violins are mostly left-leaning.

    • Try being in a quartet when you are together so frequently that things like this can become an issue. Abram Loft and Bernard Zaslav have both written excellent books about their years in chamber music, with special attention to their years with the Fine Arts Quartet, encountering all the vagaries of travel together.

  • Moosdorf is an excellent cellist and he should play more, not being a politician. But Peter Bruhns is a wonderful cellist too.

  • I’ve been reading an article — or, more accurately, the comments on an article — about estrangements within families, where a child cuts off contact from their parents, or siblings stop speaking to each other, etc. There are a fair number of commenters saying things like “but this is your family” and “why can’t you just agree not to talk about politics or religion?” and bemoaning the fragility or even cruelty of modern kids, who cut off contact with their perfectly loving parents because of a bad haircut when they were seven years old.

    I’ve learned a couple of things from the reader comments (the article is not actually very good, but it sparked a lot of interesting discussion). The main thing is that you can’t ever see into the relationship and/or all the reasons behind the break. Even members of the same family remember the same incident differently. (One commenter mentions “the oboe solo that never happened,” where she froze in a youth orchestra at age 15 because of stage fright. It was one of the most scarring and humiliating incidents of her young life, but her family thought it was hilarious and never failed to bring it up at family gatherings for decades, despite repeated requests to drop it. At some point it stops being about getting over the humiliation when you were 15 and starts being about your family not giving a shit about your feelings.) When a person cuts off contact, it can look from the outside like the person is just being oversensitive. What you may not know about, because the person doesn’t want to tell you about it, is the years of sexual abuse by the father, sanctioned by the mother. Instead, the child who cuts off contact is easily judged to be a snowflake by the people who think that what they can see is all there is.

    So with all that in mind: I’ll just repeat the often-repeated trope that a string quartet is like a family …maybe in bad ways as well as good.

  • What rubbish. Music is should be a raw, honest, probing of music and of each other, disagreements and all. If you can’t do that, lay down your instruments and do something else.

    • Notorious are the internal quarrels and struggles of the Quartetto Italiano with the result of superb performances and recordings of Beethoven quartets.

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