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Alfred Schnittke: Chamber Music, Vol. 1 - String Quartets Nos. 1-4 / Molinari Qrt

Album Summary

>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 3
>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 1
>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 2
>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 4
>Schnittke, Alfred : Canon in Memoriam Igor Stravinsky, for string quartet
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

For almost half a century, Alfred Schnittke composed more than 250 works-from opera and chamber music to film music and concertos. While drawing inspiration from the past and exploring the many aesthetic characteristics of his day, he forged a personal musical language he called polystylistic. Performed here by the internationally acclaimed, Molinari Quartet, is Schnittke like you've never heard him before.

Gramophone Magazine
The Molinaris avoid the Kronos's tendency to overdramatise the material, and their account of the Fourth's persistently fragmenting structure also lets the material do the work. Schnittke embeds ticking time-bombs inside his material...But here they go off inside your brain, not in your face.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Salle de concert du Conservatoire de musique de Montréa (06/2010).



Reviews

Dark and delirious
Schnittke, the kaleidoscopic assimilator of past and present, tradition and innovation, is revealed in his four string quartets as also being an endless fount of dark and deeply felt lyricism. With the exception of the first quartet, these were written in the 1980s, when Schnittke began moving away from his famous polystylism towards a more concentrated, spiritual form of expression. But labels are ultimately irrelevant in the face of such otherworldly sonic beauty. His string quartets are, simply put, emotionally shattering and emotionally redemptive works. Listening to them is akin to reading Celine’s “Journey to the End of the Night”: intense and even harrowing at times, but ultimately rewarding. The quartets have previously been recorded by the Kronos, Arditti and Alban Berg quartets. On this recording, Canada’s Molinari Quartet puts its imprint on these works, being particularly successful at evoking the music’s raw intimacy and wintry lyricism. It’s a pity that Schnittke didn’t live long enough to write more works in this format, as these quartets are on par with those of Shostakovich, Bartok and a very few others.
Submitted on 09/29/11 by Dean Brierly 
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Works Details

>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 3
  • Ensemble: Molinari Quartet
  • Running Time: 20 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1983

>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 1
  • Ensemble: Molinari Quartet
  • Running Time: 18 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1966

>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 2
  • Ensemble: Molinari Quartet
  • Running Time: 20 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1980

>Schnittke, Alfred : Quartet for Strings no 4
  • Ensemble: Molinari Quartet
  • Running Time: 37 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1989

>Schnittke, Alfred : Canon in Memoriam Igor Stravinsky, for string quartet
  • Ensemble: Molinari Quartet
  • Running Time: 5 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1971