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Thread: Weekly quartet. Just a music lover perspective.

  1. #1651
    Senior Member Iota's Avatar
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    It took me three goes before I was in the mood, but have finally listened to the Bax which I enjoyed with the (ever trustworthy) Maggini Quartet. He certainly seems to know his way around a string quartet, and everything seemed to dance freely or languish opulently as mood required. There's a melody in the central section of the last movement that sounds so like a yearning Irish ballad, a string quartet response to Danny Boy, and I remembered he had a fascination with Ireland. I checked and saw also that it was written in 1918, but personally found it generally light-hearted and didn't detect any echoes of the background of WWI.

    Actually I listened to the 2nd quartet at first by mistake () and found that a more reflective and excursive kind of piece, but also enjoyed.

    Anyway, nice choice, BA LXX (take out the middle two letters of your acronym and it looks like a familiar name ..), glad I got to hear it.

    Am struggling a bit to keep up with the quartets, but hope to get round to each of them eventually.

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  3. #1652
    Senior Member sbmonty's Avatar
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    I enjoyed this one as well. I'm going to order the Maggini cds. Nice choice. Thanks!

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  5. #1653
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I thought of the Dutilleux quartet (Ainsi la nuit) a few weeks ago and after re-listening to it a couple times through I'm still a big fan of this one so I hope you enjoy it. I don't know if there's any consensus about definitive performances but this is a good sounding upload. It's a single movement work under 20 minutes so it doesn't require a large investment of time. Just time to listen to it again!



    Composed 1973–76
    Dedication "to the memory of Ernest Sussman and in homage to Olga Koussevitzky"

    From Wikipedia:

    The piece is based on series of studies which focus on different aspects of sound production: pizzicatos, harmonics, dynamics, contrasts, opposition of register.[1] It is built from a single hexachord that contains the notes C♯ – G♯ – F – G – C – D, thus highlighting the intervals of fifth and major second.[8] This chord constitutes the basis from which the whole string quartet is derived. The octatonic mode is also used extensively throughout the work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainsi_la_nuit
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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  7. #1654
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I thought of the Dutilleux quartet (Ainsi la nuit) a few weeks ago and after re-listening to it a couple times through I'm still a big fan of this one so I hope you enjoy it. I don't know if there's any consensus about definitive performances but this is a good sounding upload. It's a single movement work under 20 minutes so it doesn't require a large investment of time. Just time to listen to it again!



    Composed 1973–76
    Dedication "to the memory of Ernest Sussman and in homage to Olga Koussevitzky"

    From Wikipedia:

    The piece is based on series of studies which focus on different aspects of sound production: pizzicatos, harmonics, dynamics, contrasts, opposition of register.[1] It is built from a single hexachord that contains the notes C♯ – G♯ – F – G – C – D, thus highlighting the intervals of fifth and major second.[8] This chord constitutes the basis from which the whole string quartet is derived. The octatonic mode is also used extensively throughout the work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainsi_la_nuit
    I have a couple of references in this one as it's often coupled with the Ravel SQ but I'm not going to say what these are. Both of these came near or at the top of my Ravel roundup a while ago. I'll throw in a list of all the recordings I can find (I have a few of these). The one below is one I play quite often. However I won't say anything else about it yet.

    IMG_20201129_173043.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-29-2020 at 18:51.

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  9. #1655
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Here's a list of the ones I could find but there's probably some ancient, OOP ones I've missed.

    IMG_20201129_174903.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-29-2020 at 18:54.

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  11. #1656
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    The only one I own is the Quatuor sine nomine in the Erato 4 disc box.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

  12. #1657
    Senior Member BlackAdderLXX's Avatar
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    Sweet pick. I haven't listened to it before but I was just listening to the Dutilleux symphonies yesterday. I'm looking forward to it!
    If I had a time machine I'd go back and warn these artists about their album covers

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  14. #1658
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Updated list:

    IMG_20201129_223342.jpg

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  16. #1659
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I've listened to 3 Dutilleux performances up to now. For me, the recording quality is essential in this quartet to hear all the pings, plinks, plonks, twangs (technical terms - wow Merl) and other assorted sounds in this quartet. With that in mind the Arditti's Live recording failed to impress due to the rather distant and odd soundstage (it's not a particularly interesting account either). The Belcea and Hermes recordings are much more successful and it's hard to choose between the two. I need to listen to both of these excellent recordings again (I own both)
    Both highly recommended though.

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  18. #1660
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I've listened to 3 Dutilleux performances up to now. For me, the recording quality is essential in this quartet to hear all the pings, plinks, plonks, twangs (technical terms - wow Merl) and other assorted sounds in this quartet.
    Maybe Dutilleux should have named it the onomatopoeia quartet?
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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  20. #1661
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    Does anyone know if Dutilleux was influenced by Bartok's quartets, particularly the Fourth?

  21. #1662
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SearsPoncho View Post
    Does anyone know if Dutilleux was influenced by Bartok's quartets, particularly the Fourth?
    According to the Wiki link I provided above, Dutilleux studied the quartets of Beethoven, Bartok, and Webern's Six Bagatelles before composing his quartet.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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  23. #1663
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    For those who, differently from me, are well-versed in score reading and music theory, here's a rather thorough analysis of Dutilleux's String Quartet: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/...L0T7cwVM4h5Cmg

    I listened to the Hermès quartet’s recording and I was very positively surprised. I like the use of pizzicato a lot and I think it was structurally interesting. Will listen to it more to get a better grasp of it, though. Thanks for a great choice, starthrower!
    Last edited by annaw; Yesterday at 07:51.

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  25. #1664
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Dutilleux is one of my favorite contemporary composers; I love his dream-like blend of consonance and dissonance and he is a lot "easier on the ears" to my liking than some of the more experimental composers. His work simply feels like a natural extension of Debussy in its voluptuous feel for texture and harmony. This is a quartet that I have heard before and which I love. It's just the right length, the extended techniques aren't intrusive but are naturally integrated, and there is lots of variety within the small package. Great to hear again.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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  27. #1665
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    Well I had fun stepping into Dutilleux's unique world for a listen to the Juilliard String Quartet's recording of the quartet. It is a place I like to visit often. This Juilliard CD of the quartet is excellent. The performance is nicely atmospheric and detailed. The sound is warm and focused with enough air around the players to set the sound stage without getting cavernous. Very enjoyable. Still I would like to pick up another version if I can find a very good one not shoe horned onto the end of a Debussy/Ravel set.

    As an aside, i recently picked up volume 3 of the Morlot/Seattle Symphony Dutilleux orchestral series an it is breathtaking.

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