Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Arditti Quartet, Nancarrow, Xenakis|
Arditti: pieces by Beethoven, Nancarrow, Crawford-Seeger, Reynolds, Xenakis
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
A great introduction to an adventurous group
Bruce Hodges | New York, NY | 11/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some rate the Arditti as the best string quartet in the world, and with recordings like this, you can see why. Indeed, the Beethoven sounds almost modern here, and makes an interesting introduction to the rest of these works. (NB: this includes only the "Grosse Fuge," not the complete quartet.) The Nancarrow is one of this composer's few non-player piano pieces, and fascinating in its similar explorations of meter and phrasing. The Seeger is buried treasure: one of the few string quartets by an American woman written during that time -- and it's an excellent one. And the Reynolds is also marvelous, one of this composer's best works, and beautifully done here. But the highlight for me is the stunning "Tetras." Not everyone will respond to Xenakis' 15-minute exploration of textures -- often harsh ones -- but it is a brilliant piece of writing. If you are in the mood to experience a string quartet that includes, for example, rhythmic scraping and scratching, not to mention some howling glissandi, look no further. A difficult piece to describe; you just have to hear it. Excellent, intimate recording with just enough resonance. (Also highly recommended, the companion "Arditti 2" with Bartok, Gubaidulina and Schnittke, also on Gramavision.)"
Adam Haws | Bellingham, WA USA | 08/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a disk I would recommend to anyone with an interest in either the formidible skills of arguably the finest quartet around, or for those who wish for a primer in the art of the contemporary string quartet. The CD begins, brilliantly, with Beethoven's Grosse Fuge, op. 133, which many consider the first truly "contemporary" piece of music, despite being written in the 1820s. Other treats include Nancarrow's Third Quartet (which is actually his second...don't ask). It contains many of the tempo canon ideas he explored in his innumerable studies for player piano, but it also features sections in regular meter. I think it is one of this extraordinary composer's crowning achievements. The Seeger-Crawford Quartet 1931 is the missing link between Schoenberg's klangfarbenmelodie and the textural compositions of Ligeti, Penderecki, and Xenakis (see further). Reynolds may not be one of my favorite 20th century composers, but his quartet is quite beautiful. Finally, Xenakis' Tetras (no relation to the video game) is a strange, otherworldly, and suitably noisy piece of music. If you enjoy this collection, consider exploring some of Arditti's other repertoire. Their interpretations of Ligeti, Xenakis, Carter, and Nono are highly recommended by this listener. All in all, I find it utterly inspiring to hear such musicianship and skill go into very demanding but rewarding repertoire. This is for any open-minded music lover. Enjoy."