by Jarrett Hoffman
When you play the first track of Last Leaf, the Danish String Quartet’s new album of Nordic folk music, a tune over a drone in the harmonium meets your ears. Whether “Despair Not, O Heart,” a Lutheran chorale known mostly as a funeral hymn, finds a certain spot in you called soul or just some hidden nook of the brain, it feels special.
Praised by the Washington Post as “one of the best quartets before the public today,” the Danish String Quartet — Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and Frederik Øland, violins, Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola, and Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello — follow up Last Leaf with an October tour beginning in the U.S. and wrapping around to Denmark and Germany.
On October 10, the Cleveland Chamber Music Society brings the Quartet to Plymouth Church UCC in Shaker Heights with a program of Bartok’s String Quartet No. 1, Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op. 59, No. 1, and Nordic folk music arranged by the Quartet.