JOUNI KAIPAINEN (b.1956): String Quartet No. 7, Op. 98 “Batsheba”*, JUKKA TIENSUU (b.1948): Rack*, JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 56 “Voces Intimae”. * - First Recordings.
Catalogue Number: 03S072
Reference: ABCD 383
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Kaipainen’s quartet is based almost programmatically on Volter Kilpi's vividly descriptive retelling of the Biblical story of David and Bathsheba. The composer even provides indications as to the meaning of the work's clearly delineated episodes - nocturnal love scene, the battlefield murder of Bathsheba's spouse, her death, fading into the desert and so on. Kaipainen's music is heavily influenced by pre-dodecaphonic Schoenberg - the first quartet, Verklärte Nacht - and expressionism, Bartókian night music as well, in a thoroughly accessible musical narrative. Tiensuu's piece is, characteristically, less stylistically uniform. There are strongly rhythmic passages made up of shards of harmonic whisperings or scattershot pizzicati; motoric tonal sections; eerie nature-sounds. Throughout the ensemble is used as a huge super-instrument, producing complex plaited sound-sculptures which are as fascinating to observe as they are resistant to ready explanation as to their meaning or function. As to the title, according to Tiensuu's colleague, Kaipainen, it might have something to do with racking one's brain, being tortured on a mediæval device, objects that might be stored or displayed on a rack, or none of the above. Kamus String Quartet.