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Thread: The Contemporary String Quartet: works written since 1970

  1. #91
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newyorkconversation View Post
    Gabriella Smith - Carrot Revolution (2015)

    Written for the excellent Aizuri Quartet, who perform it here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puZCQJzTy90

    And here is their rendition of "Blueprint" by Carolyn Shaw (after which their album "Blueprinting" is named):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN8vjz-GQmI
    Very nice. The work by Gabriella Smith has a jazzy feel. Thanks for posting these two.

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    another Caroline Shaw piece for SQ -

    Caroline Shaw - Entr'Acte (2011)

    inspired by (and referring to) Haydn's Op. 77 no. 2 (based on a performance by the Brentano quartet, who premiered this piece).

    YouTube has this rendition by the Calidore:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JvFLBe7hWg

    Shaw's "Blueprint," which I posted earlier, written for and performed by the Aizuri Quartet, also refers to a classic quartet - in that case Beethoven's Op. 18 No. 2 (which itself of course refers back to Haydn)
    Last edited by newyorkconversation; Nov-01-2020 at 21:23.

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  5. #93
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newyorkconversation View Post
    another Caroline Shaw piece for SQ -

    Caroline Shaw - Entr'Acte (2011)

    inspired by (and referring to) Haydn's Op. 77 no. 2 (based on a performance by the Brentano quartet, who premiered this piece).

    YouTube has this rendition by the Calidore:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JvFLBe7hWg

    Shaw's "Blueprint," which I posted earlier, written for and performed by the Aizuri Quartet, also refers to a classic quartet - in that case Beethoven's Op. 18 No. 2 (which itself of course refers back to Haydn)
    I love Caroline Shaw's 'Entr'Acte'. I almost chose it for the weekly quartet thread.

    Last edited by Merl; Nov-01-2020 at 22:13.

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    Great thread, thanks! I'd also recommend keeping up with the Lydian Quartet's annual SQ commission prize to a contemporary composer; although it hasn't been given out regularly in recent years (it seems not since violinist Daniel Stepner left the group): http://www.lydianquartet.com/prize. Past winners have included composers John Harbison, Martin Boykan, Peter Child, Alan Stout, Lee Hyla, and Yehudi Wyner, and usually a recording is made and issued of the award winning quartet:

    http://www.lydianquartet.com
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqc...iOKA3ahQkDxKEQ

    For example,

    Boykan, String Quartet no. 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7Bs...1JWh4&index=11

    Harbison, String Quartet no. 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHEi...dRkMJE&index=4

    Apart from the Lydian's premiere recordings, I've also liked Peteris Vask's 6 String Quartets. Here is no. 4, composed in 1999, which I consider a masterpiece (though Vasks' more experimental quartets are nos. 1-3):



    I'd consider Vagn Holmboe's String Quartet no. 13 to be a masterpiece, as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb24...CmwcG0JIJPRGik .

    Lately, I've also been listening to & liking post-1970 string quartets by Per Nørgård, Joonas Kokkonen, John McCabe, and Anders Hillborg:

    --Nørgård, String Quartet no. 10, dedicated to the Kroger Quartet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfAfcLeyWT0

    --Kokkonen, String Quartet no. 3:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xVYOUCBcLQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-vDvThlkLk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDhajJhlGFc

    --McCabe, String Quartet No. 7 "Summer's Eves": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOCl...9b3-Zo&index=2

    --Hillborg, "Kongsgaard Variations":


    And, although not strictly a string quartet per se, I've also been impressed by Poul Ruders "Dreamland" for soprano, clarinet and string quartet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ope5TzDYoq4.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Nov-02-2020 at 02:14.

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    Daniel Kidane: Foreign Tongues for string quartet (2015)
    https://youtu.be/HBONxktiLJQ?t=3360

    Starting around 56:00. Part of Festival NOW! 2020 Ensemble Modern "Afro-Modernism" live stream, curated by George E. Lewis. Wonderful concert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonance View Post
    SanAntone – thanks. R. Murray Schafer: SQ no.8 (2012; Molinari Quartet)
    [info – no. 1: 1970; no. 13: 2015]
    I heard R. Murray Schafer's First String Quartet in 1970, shortly after it was composed for the Purcell String Quartet. That was at a summer music school on Vancouver island that is still running -- Courtenay Youth Music Centre. It was my introduction to avant-garde string writing; at the end there is a repeated snap pizzicato which Schafer told us represented the snapping of film against the reel when the film has run out. Who could have guessed that he would compose 13 string quartets? Sadly, it has been announced that Schafer is now inactive due to a chronic condition.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Nov-18-2020 at 06:54.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeptimalTritone View Post
    Simon Steen-Andersen - String Quartet 2 (2012)



    Utilizes amplified bows, which provide a unique sound bordering between pitch and noise. I like this work a lot because while the ensemble texture is intentionally restricted as the quartet usually speaks as one voice, the sounds coming out are well developed and the texture is physically compelling. It feels like percussion/noise music, and yet there is pitch behind it too. But make no mistake, this music is completely unlike that of someone like Lachenmann and I'd argue that this is a masterwork.
    Simon Steen-Andersen: String Quartet 1 (1999)

    I just heard his first quartet. It's a pretty interesting early piece. On the surface, it sounds like one of Lachenmann's string quartets combined with some Lutoslawski-esque bow bouncing techniques and limited aleatoric passages. And yet, all four instruments tend to do the same one or two extended techniques at any given time, giving a sense of density and kinetic energy that anticipates Raphäel Cendo and Franck Bedrossian's music by a couple of years. And then there's the technique of combing a glissando with an arpeggio (heard at the very opening) which sounds so quirky that only someone like Steen-Andersen could pull it off, given how quirky and humorous his music would become later on.

    It's interesting that Steen-Andersen would eventually adopt a related but ultimately very different musical style than what can be heard here. He may have become a saturationist like Cendo and Bedrossian had he stuck with it.

    Score can be read here.


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    I'm going to put one here which I find really difficult, Birtwistle's 2007 Quartet called Tree of Strings. To me it sounds like a hotchpotch of melodic ideas randomly cobbled together. I'm hoping someone can say what I'm missing.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I'm going to put one here which I find really difficult, Birtwistle's 2007 Quartet called Tree of Strings. To me it sounds like a hotchpotch of melodic ideas randomly cobbled together. I'm hoping someone can say what I'm missing.
    On Cambridge.org (Cambridge Core) you'll find Jonathan Cross' review of the Arditti quartet's disc which gives a useful overview of what Birtwistle is doing in The Tree of Strings. The review originally appeared in the April 2013 edition of Tempo, the quarterly review of new music.

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    One that I return to on occasion, and surprised I have not seen on these pages is Harold Schiffman No 2. No 1 is also fine, but predates 1970.

  19. #101
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    York Höller - String Quartets (and more)

    holler sq.jpg

    I am really enjoying this recording of all the music for string quartet, and with piano, by York Höller. Although most of the music was written after 1970, the first three "fragments" date from 1968.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Jan-22-2021 at 17:56.

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  21. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by RICK RIEKERT View Post
    On Cambridge.org (Cambridge Core) you'll find Jonathan Cross' review of the Arditti quartet's disc which gives a useful overview of what Birtwistle is doing in The Tree of Strings. The review originally appeared in the April 2013 edition of Tempo, the quarterly review of new music.
    Just saw this Rick

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journ...4BC48B03ADBDAA

    He does his best to talk it up, I shall listen again very soon.

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  24. #104
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    The Lick Quartet - David Bruce



    Mvt. 1: Tigran's Lick 0:00​
    Mvt. 2: Antonin's Lick 5:54​
    Mvt. 3: Jacob's Lick 10:41​
    Mvt. 4: Leoš's Lick 15:09

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    I really like this one.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Feb-06-2021 at 17:32.

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  26. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    The Lick Quartet - David Bruce



    Mvt. 1: Tigran's Lick 0:00​
    Mvt. 2: Antonin's Lick 5:54​
    Mvt. 3: Jacob's Lick 10:41​
    Mvt. 4: Leoš's Lick 15:09

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    I really like this one.
    So do I. That 3rd movement is really captivating.

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