Resilience, a 2018 release on Signum Classics by the Calidore String Quartet, is a testament to perseverance and endurance through trying times, as exemplified by four chamber works of Sergey Prokofiev, Leos Janácek, Osvaldo Golijov, and Felix Mendelssohn. Each composer faced difficulties that they worked through in their music, such as Prokofiev's flight from Nazi aggression in WWII, represented by his String Quartet No. 2; Janácek's failing marriage, which found expression in his String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata"; Golijov's Tenebrae, which was based on the violence he encountered during a visit to Israel; and the tragic death of Mendelssohn's sister, Fanny Mendelssohn, which inspired the String Quartet No. 6. Considering the turbulence and unrest that followed the 2016 general election in the United States, the Calidore String Quartet decided that it needed to redefine its role and purpose in society, and it developed this program to shine a light on the creation of art in times of adversity. While this makes sense politically and culturally, the ultimate test of this album is the coherence of the album's subtext, which is open to debate, and the expressive power of the performances, which are musically convincing. To be compelling on an emotional level, great art must deal with conflicts and crises, and even without the construct of this program, the performances are affecting and intellectually satisfying, due to the Calidore's committed playing, which ultimately gives Resilience its staying power.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|String Quartet No. 2 Op. 92|
|String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata"|
|String Quartet No. 6 Op. 80|