While rarely considering self-flagellation as a hobby, at the end of last night’s concert by the stunning Momenta String Quartet, I had the impulse to give myself a quick whipping. Where the hell had I been those two previous concerts? And why wasn’t I able to change my schedule to fit in the final concert today?
The second concert of the Momenta Quartet’s new self-titled festival had the foreboding title, “The Concert from Hell.” The evening’s curator, first violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron, explained in the program notes that her idea came from her being “a devoted fan of psychological thriller and horror movies.” She added that she is “attracted to anything that pushes us to our internal limits.”
The Momenta Quartet, to judge not only from its performance style but also from its choice of repertory and the nature of the works written for it, seems to prize individuality at least as much as homogeneous blend. Its very name, using the plural of momentum, is meant, the group says in a program, to signify “four individuals in motion toward a common goal.”