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CD ECM Records Keller Quartett - Ligeti: String Quartets / Barber: Adagio

Cod produs: CD2197
Pret: 65 RON
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Prezentare generala CD ECM Records Keller Quartett - Ligeti: String Quartets / Barber: Adagio

2007, 2011

Andras Keller - vioara
Janos Pilz - vioara
Zsofia Kornyei - vioara
Zoltan Gal - viola
Judit Szabo - violoncel

 

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An album that bridges musical worlds, with the Molto Adagio of Samuel Barber’s String Quartet No. 1 offered as tonal terra firma between György Ligeti’s restlessly shifting first and second quartets. Mid-20th century, Barber and Ligeti would have been considered aesthetic opposites. “Ligeti was all about leaving what for Barber was solid home”, Paul Griffiths notes in the liner text. From a contemporary perspective both composers are voices from the past, their present-day relevance emphasised in these committed performances. “Physically actualized in the recording, the music is being all the time remade by the performers searching for what a motif can convey and finding an abundance of expressive contours in Ligeti’s quartets as much as in Barber’s. The gesture of lament is common to both.” The first of the recordings heard on this album was made in 2007 on the first anniversary of Ligeti’s death, Hungary’s foremost string quartet paying tribute to the great innovator of modern Hungarian music. The 2011 recording of the second Ligeti quartet documents also a change in the line-up of András Keller’s ensemble, with Zsófia Környei, widely considered one of the outstanding violinists of her generation, replacing long-serving Keller Quartett member János Pilz.

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The Budapest-based Keller Quartet divides György Ligeti’s two modernistic String Quartets with the famously retrospective ‘Adagio’ from Samuel Barber’s String Quartet. Ligeti’s quartets are themselves very different: the first has a tearaway frenzy but is traditionally grounded; the second veers into spheres of harmonics that still sound avant-garde 45 years on. Tremendously abrasive, intense performances.
Richard Morrison, The Times

It’s hard to know what to admire most about this remarkable new disc – the bravery of the strange but compelling juxtaposition of repertoire; the technical brilliance of playing; or the profound, considered musicality of the Keller players’ performances. [...] There’s a sense of fantasy and vivid characterisation right from their start of their Ligeti First Quartet (heavily indebted to Bartók), and a glassy purity to their sound that ensures each instrument is heard in individual clarity [...] They rise magnificently to the Second Quartet’s weird, sometimes theatrical demands, too, negotiating Ligeti’s musical jokes with dry wit. [...] The famous Barber Adagio is deliciously jarring in between the two Ligeti quartets, especially in the Keller’s brisk, unsentimental performance, light on vibrato but high on ringing purity. It’s as if they’ve stripped the piece of its mawkishness and returned it to the simple, moving statement that it is. All in all, a disc of revelations.
David Kettle, The Strad

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