RICH AND RARE SONORITIES
'... a pleasure beyond expectation.'
Quartets from Catalonia -
with ROBERT ANDERSON
For some reason I had expected the quartets on this CD to be by contemporaries
of Arriaga, perhaps some gifted monks from the heights of Monsalvat, or
a series of 'cello' quartets to follow Mozart's, inspired
this time by the magisterial skill of Casals. Far from it. Josep Soler,
the oldest of the composers, was born in 1935, and his two pupils, Sardà
and Roger, in 1943 and 1954. That fine city, Barcelona, has been their headquarters,
but their inspiration is eclectic. Soler is the most closely linked to the
mainstream European tradition that reached some sort of logical conclusion
in the Second Viennese School. Sardà absorbed what Darmstadt had
to give in 1972, while Roger has achieved a commendable freedom from the
academic disciplines he teaches. There is not a whiff of Catalonia in this
music; it is pan-European, technically masterful and ingenious, demanding
to play but fascinating to hear, exploiting as it does a cornucopia of rich
and rare sonorities.
All four quartets restrict themselves to one continuous movement. Paradoxically
the most approachable is the most recent, Soler's Fifth Quartet (1995).
The reason is not far to seek and is apparent from the opening bars [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:00]. The clear reference
is to the 'Heiliger Dankgesang' in Beethoven's A minor Quartet
Copyright © 15 April 2001
Robert Anderson, London, UK
CD INFORMATION - METIER MSV CD92026
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
& Vision home Recent reviews
||To listen to the aural illustrations in this review,|
you may need to download RealNetworks' realplayer 8.