Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937): Streichquartette Nr.1 & 2
- 1 Streichquartette / Streichquartette Nr. 1-2 / (op. 37 / op. 56): Nr. 1 (op. 37 C-dur (1917)) Start
- 2 1. Satz: Lento assai - Allegro moderato Start
- 3 2. Satz: Andantino semplice: In modo d#una Canzone - Adagio dolcissimo - Lento assai Start
- 4 3. Satz: Scherzando alla burlesca: Vivace Start
- 5 Streichquartett d-moll op. 49 (1915 / 16) Start
- 6 1. Satz: Andante - Allegro Start
- 7 2. Satz: Andante Start
- 8 3. Satz: Allegro Start
- 9 Streichquartette / Streichquartette Nr. 1-2 / (op. 37 / op. 56): Nr. 2 (op. 56 (1927)) Start
- 10 1. Satz: Moderato, dolce e tranquillo Start
- 11 2. Satz: Vivace scherzando Start
- 12 3. Satz: Lento Start
The all-Polish Royal String Quartet are one of the most interesting and dynamically developing string quartets of the young generation. They are particularly acclaimed for their performances of music from their homeland, and have received the Special Prize of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage ‘in recognition of their contribution to Polish culture’. Continuing this theme, their debut recording for Hyperion features music by Szymanowski and Rózycki.
The two Szymanowski quartets are contrasting masterpieces from different periods in the composer’s varied career. The first seems reminiscent of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No 1 in its impressionistic sound world, its voluptuous, erotic sensibility and its layers of texture and colour. The second quartet is from the composer’s last phase, and draws on the full range of folk materials he had encountered in the Tatra highlands, and which inspired him to a new and more ‘authentic’ modernism. It is a piece of granitic strength and ruggedness.
We complete the disc with a contemporary rarity, the String Quartet by Rózycki, a work which shows the virtues of a late-Romantic idiom untouched by French or Russian style, and touched only lightly by central European folk influences.
'They play Szymanowski's two quartets with exactly the right combination of local folksy fervour and the textural variety that their country's most important composer after Chopin shared with his modernist contemporaries. The results are the finest performances of these two compact and luminously intense works currently available' (The Guardian)
'These Polish musicians give rich-hued and intelligent performances of each of the three works … Szymanowski's First Quartet is strongly individual music … A decade later, the Second Quartet is expressed with yet more confidence' (The Sunday Times)
'This is music for consenting adults only. Imagine the steamier bits of Wagner's Tristan, the mystical frenzy of Skryabin and the lusciousness of Ravel's String Quartet combined together, and you'll have some idea of Karol Szymanowski's two string quartets … The Royal String Quartet do them proud' (The Daily Telegraph)
'A loving performance of sweeping emotional impact… the quartet's buzzing, humming, piercing presence packs a gratifying wallop' (Fanfare, USA)
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