MÁTYÁS SEIBER (1905-1960): String Quartets No. 1 & No. 2, Quartetto Lyrico (String Quartet No. 3).
Catalogue Number: 05M061
Description: Along with Hans Gál and Egon Wellesz, Seiber was the third important refugee from Nazi-dominated Europe to have an important influence on a generation of British composers. Until recently, it was mostly because of his teaching but lately some recordings of his music have come out and this new release of his quartets will go a long way to reviving his reputation as a composer. The First dates from 1924 and its youthful ardor, freshness and spontaneity is rooted in its influences from Kodály (his teacher) and Hungarian folk music. No. 2 (1934-5) is sterner stuff, tough, vigorous and boldly dissonant, masterfully using Schoenberg's serial system but also dipping into jazz à la Weill or Krenek and employing a plethora of string playing special effects in its large-scale finale. His most mature quartet is the Lirico, which took three years to write (1948-51) and which was both premiered and recorded by the Amadeus Quartet, warmer and more romantic than the Second but still with a stiff spine and ending with a long, somber and even desolate slow movement. Edinburgh Quartet.