KARL WEIGL (1881-1949): String Quartets Nos. 7 & 8.
Catalogue Number: 07W044
Reference: 555 201-2
Description: Weigl completed his next-to-last quartet in January 1942 and in this work much more clearly than in its successor adheres to the finely felt lyricism generally distinguishing him as a composer. It is a work without »screams« and hardly anything would lead us to suspect that it is not a composition from Weigl’s years in Vienna. The same cannot be said of his eighth and last quartet, completed just a couple of months before his death. Weigl knew how to shock his listeners without needing to seek refuge in unresolved dissonances. And this quartet indeed is shocking. The first movement is blunt and mysterious at the same time. With its dotted motif the fugued development section strives toward a coda that in the end modulates from minor to major without prior warning. An agonizing but tender melancholy marks the following movement: only Weigl was able to send waves of gloomy brooding through such gentle pondering. The conclusion has the effect of a lonely, mute scream in the night. Neither was performed during his lifetime. Thomas Christian Ensemble.