KRZYSZTOF MEYER (b.1943): Clarinet Quintet, Op. 66, Piano Quintet, Op. 76.
Catalogue Number: 01P076
Description: These two large-scale works of epic scope, event-filled and with a strong sense of narrative, were composed around the time of Meyer's seventh and ninth string quartets, in the composer's fully mature style. The Piano Quintet has some elements in common with Lutoslawski, in the work's tightly controlled relationship between dissonant heterophony and strong sense of tonal gravity and the internal proportions of the movements, but the melodic contour, harmony and above all the tense, melancholy discursive nature of the music constantly brings Shostakovich to mind (and the first movement confirms this by persistently hinting at the 'DSCH' motif). The work is a four-movement structure with a deeply tragic slow movement, a shadowy scherzo and a bleak, agitated finale full of very Shostakovich-like motifs. The Clarinet Quintet is a similar, relatively conventional four-movement structure, also with strong echoes of Shostakovich. The first movement is based on sonata form; the last is kind of free variation structure, with an intervening long movement traversing wide emotional territory, and a fleet scherzo. More linearly melodic, and more tonal-sounding (despite some note-row thematic material) than the Piano Quintet, the piece has a more intimate, introspective feel, its emotional disquiet and pervasive melancholy sounding more personal, less of an universal statement. 2 CDs. Pavel Drobnik (clarinet), Andrzej Tatarski (piano), Wieniawski Quartet. 2005 release.