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Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969): Complete String Quartets, Vol. 1 - Quartets nos 1, 3, 6 & 7 / Lutoslawski Quartet

Album Summary

>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 6
>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 1
>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 3
>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 7
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Musicologist Adrian Thomas considered Grazyna Bacewicz’s string quartets “unrivalled in 20th-century Polish music and one of the century’s most significant contributions to the genre”. Her folk-music infused First Quartet dates from student days at the Paris Conservatoire, while exceptional polyphonic skill, intense emotion and playful, high spirits characterize the Third Quartet. Both the Sixth and Seventh Quartets unite tradition with a strikingly effective and highly personal exploration of progressive contemporary techniques. As Lutoslawski observed, in the “rapidly changing artistic currents” of the times, “it was [Bacewicz’s] music which helped create that atmosphere”.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2015
Bacewicz's seven string quartets stand tall in the repertoire of 20th-century chamber music, worthy of comparison with works by more famous composers... Bacewicz wrote for strings with complete mastery, and in the first of their two volumes devoted to her quartets, the young players of the Lutoslawski Quartet relish all the possibilities of these works. Superbly recorded, the Lutoslawskis project with presence and warmth.

The Guardian, 6th August 2015
Especially in the earlier works here, the First and Third Quartets, she uses folk music and dance rhythms, inevitably bringing Bart=k to mind...The Lutoslawski Quartet give wholehearted, stylish performances. This is the first of their two CDs covering Bacewicz's seven quartets. Bring on the next ...

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wroclaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Poland.



Reviews

Cycle off to a good start
In their survey of string quartets by Grazyna Bacewicz, the Lutoslawski Quartet has done something interesting: they don't present them in order. Volume 1 of the series features four of Bacewicz's seven quartets. It opens with the 1960 String Quartet No. 6, one of her more avant-garde quartets. Bacewicz uses a version of 12-tone music to organize her material, but develops it in her own fashion.

Following that is her first string quartet from 1939, a mostly tonal work with its central movement built around a Lithuanian folk song. The String Quartet No. 3, written seven years later, shows her development as a composer. Bacewicz was still writing in a mostly tonal style, but it was a much expanded tonality. Stylistically, this quartet reminds me of late Shostakovich.

The album ends with Bacewicz' final string quartet, No. 7 completed in 1965. In sound, its aggressively modernist (compared to the other quartets). The motifs are somewhat disjointed, the harmonies more dissonant. And yet there's a clear sense of structure and organization that runs throughout the work that keeps it from sounding dated.

The Lutoslawski Quartet's recorded sound isn't as clean as I would have liked it to be, but that's a minor complaint. The important thing is that these four players understand Bacewicz. So their performance of the conservative String Quartet No. 1 is just as convincing as their performance of the challenging String Quartet No. 7.

I look forward to Volume 2.
Submitted on 08/19/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 6
  • Notes: Wroclaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Poland (11/15/2012-11/17/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 1
  • Notes: Wroclaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Poland (12/11/2012-12/17/2012)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1930

>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 3
  • Notes: Wroclaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Poland (11/15/2012-11/17/2012)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1947

>Bacewicz, Grazyna : Quartet for Strings no 7
  • Notes: Wroclaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Poland (11/15/2012-11/17/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1965