ANNA THORVALDSDÓTTIR (b.1977): Enigma for String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 09X060
Label: Sono Luminus
Description: Everything we said about Þorvaldsdóttir's strange, unique, elemental music that we offered previously: " … music concerned with 'natural phenomena and structures ... [these elements are] often structural, like proportion and flow' ... 'nature music' consisting of slabs or floes of slow-moving material ..." (01U063, 12V064) applies to this massive (in every sense) half-hour string quartet. Wide-spanning chords, intervals or unisons carve out an immense basaltic chorale, stern and imposing, with surface textures gleamingly polished in long bowed notes, or roughly hewn and splintered in extended noise textures scraped from the strings, flecked with flickering spiccato or pizzicato crystals. The cliffs and menhirs echo to the lonely cries of wheeling seabirds and the whistling of chill breezes. What is remarkable is the sheer monumentality of the music, its sense of scale and vast distances, all produced with the resources of the quartet, with no electronic enhancement; the ensemble members themselves remarked "how immense it sounds, irrespective of the number of players." A powerful, if not exactly comfortable, listening experience. Spektral Quartet.