David Angel’s Twelve Quartet Commandments
1. You are sharp, unless proved innocent.
2. Play where your colleague is – not where he should be, had he connected as well as you.
3. Check your rhythm with a metronome before the rehearsal rather than letting your colleagues check it for you in the rehearsal. Your metronome is a true friend!
4. Rehearsal is all about establishing guilt.
5. Admit guilt straight away, as it is more painful having it extracted from you.
6. Never be the first to stop when the quartet is sight reading, however wrong you are.
7. Sleeping with a colleague’s wife can prejudice purely musical discussion.
8. Knowing the score is POWER!
9. Be patient; it may take years, but your colleagues will catch up with your musical vision some day.
10. Be confident in the next rehearsal as you alone saved the last concert!
11. A properly functioning string quartet is a compliment free zone. Should you nevertheless receive a compliment, rest assured it is always tactical.
12. When a colleague says they are having a problem with a passage and can you play it with them, they invariably mean that the problem is you.
We received a very useful tip from David at a course with the Magginis last summer: When you play a phrase with one of your colleagues in the quartet play it with great conviction. Both of you should be absolutely convinced that what the other person is doing is the right way!
# 7 is in fact: making quintet out of quartet is a bad idea.
#7 is channeling "A Late Quartet", a movie I can't bare to watch.
#1. clashes with the first rule of violin playing. "Better sharp than out of tune"
When your colleague starts explaining the way they would like you to play something, ask them to demonstrate what they want. After they do that (or are not able to do that in most cases) , exclaim "Oh, I see!" Then just play it the way you did before and they will probably say, "Yes, that's what I meant!"
I use 12 qzite often
I'm trying to work out which of these are actually serious. 1,2,3,5,6, 8 and 9?
Doesn't 6 contradict 5?
Little wonder that it was recommended that any new quartette be named: "The Ill Tempered String Quartette."