WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Quartettstudie for String Quartet (Quatuor Ébène), JOHANNES MARIA STAUD (b.1974): Towards a Brighter Hue for Solo Violin (Korbinian Altenberger), RODION SHCHEDRIN (b.1932): Lyric Scenes for String Quartet (Apollon Musagète Quartet), DAVID SAWER (b.1961): Parthenope for Solo Viola (Antoine Tamestit), ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR (b.1959): Lost Prayers (String Quartet No. 2) (Armida Quartet), ESA-PEKKA SALONEN (b.1958): knock, breathe, shine for Solo Cello (Tristan Cornut), NIKOLAUS BRASS (b.1949): etchings for String Quartet (Quartet Amabile).
Catalogue Number: 11T060
Label: BR Klassik
Description: The unifying factor behind this apparently wildly disparate program is that the pieces were all commissioned by the International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich, with the stipulation that they be so demanding from a technical and musical point of view that they put the diverse abilities of a participant to the test. All the composers clearly rose to the challenge, though by maintaining their own individual styles they inevitably emphasized different performing criteria. Shchedrin, Sawer and Salonen, each in their own way, make the greatest concessions to tonality; Rihm, whose quartet harks back to his earlier, more modernist style than the quartets that surround it chronologically, Brass and Staud hardly do so at all. The Tüür is especially varied, both in its formidable technical requirements and its vocabulary, and although the works abound in tricky passages in harmonics, multiple stopping (especially the Salonen) and intricate counterpoint in the ensemble pieces, there is little in the way of extreme extended techniques; only Brass requires some noise textures, and that not often. Above all these are 'real' works by their respective composers, regardless of their status as competition pieces.