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By Means of an Audio Track…

Ludwig van Beethoven, Rondo WoO6 - Ishay Shaer & Klenke-Quartett
Ludwig van Beethoven, Rondo WoO6 - Ishay Shaer & Klenke-Quartett | Photo: Video Screenshot

Beethoven's abandoned Rondo (B flat major) WoO6 - arranged by Ishay Shaer, for piano and string quartet. A cross-border artistic collaboration in times of pandemic. Ishay Shaer and the Klenke Quartett.

In honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the Goethe-Institut Israel had planned to invite the renowned German Klenke Quartett to Israel. On their concert tour, the ensemble was to perform with the young Israeli piano star Ishay Shaer for the first time.

Unfortunately, like many other guest tours, the tour had to be cancelled due to Corona. The desire to collaborate artistically remained, however, despite the imposed social distancing measures and travel restrictions. So how to work together if one is not allowed to meet? Prof. Michael Wolpe, composer and director of the Jerusalem Piano Festival, presented a solution: Why not record Ishay Shaer’s arrangement of Beethoven’s Rondo WoO6 for piano and string quartet in studios in Jerusalem and Berlin and merge them digitally?
What sounds quite simple is a musical challenge: When recording his part in Jerusalem, Ishay Shaer had to use his imagination to grant the absent quartet appropriate space in the piece. Where, for example, does the piano come to the fore, where do the strings? The Klenke Quartett, on the other hand, had to comprehend Ishay Shaer’s musical language only by means of an audio track and enter into a virtual dialogue with the absent pianist via headphones. The ambitious experiment was successful and might yet lead to a real concert in the future: Both Ishay Shaer and the Klenke Quartett have expressed their desire to deepen their artistic relationship.
It was first streamed online at the “Sounds of the desert”- Festival on December, 16th - the eve of Beethoven’s christening - and broadcasted on Israel’s classical radio station Kol HaMusika on his birthday a day later on December 17th.