The Aroha String Quartet are champions of new music and are always ready to try something new, but performing a world premiere in a steam railway museum was adventurous even by their standards! When the quartet was in Austria for the International Summer Academy last August they gave the first performance of a work especially written for them by the young Hungarian composer Peter Tornyai. The single movement string quintet takes its inspiration from Schubert's remarkable Quintet in C but while it contains quotations from Schubert, its extensive use of scordatura (retuning) and harmonics creates a very different sound world, with fascinating, earcatching textures and sonorities.
The first performance of the quintet was held on a railway platform amongst steam engines in the Sudbahnmuseum train museum. Listen out for the first New Zealand performances of the work in 2012.