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Grieg, Sibelius, Thommessen – String Quartets

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-2101 SACD
Release date2016-01-10
Orig. sample rate96000Hz
Total time72:23

It is striking that the two Nordic string quartets that have received the greatest international attention and have the firmest foothold in the repertoire come from composers whose reputations rests on their achievements in other genres than chamber music. In the case of Edvard Grieg, a string quartet was in fact among the very first works that he presented after having finished his studies in 1861, but the Quartet in G minor, Op.27, was the only such work to be published in his lifetime. In 1878, while composing it, Grieg wrote that ‘it aims at breadth, to soar, and, above all, at vigorous sound’, and the amplitude of the sound is indeed striking: the generous use of double-stops creates an almost orchestral effect, unusual for the genre. This caused some reviewers to criticize the quartet as being unidiomatic, while others, including Liszt, greeted it with enthusiasm. Some thirty years later, when Jean Sibelius composed his D minor quartet Op.56, he too had previous experience of writing for the medium, but Op.56 is the only quartet among his mature works. He embarked on it at a critical point in his career, following the completion of the Third Sym­phony and during a stage of increased introspection and greater thematic concentration. The often used 'nickname' Voces intimae is often taken to refer to the intimate interchange between the four voices in a quartet, but is probably a more specific allusion to a brief passage in the third movement: Sibelius wrote the remark into a score some time after the work had been published. Formed in 2006, the Engegård Quartet has become one of the most sought-after ensembles in Norway and has also received international recognition. On its first release on BIS the quartet also includes Felix Remix by Olav Anton Thommessen. The work, which was premièred by the Engegård Quartet in 2014, is based on the second movement, Allegro di molto, of Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet, Op. 44 No.2.
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$ 17.02
Extra material for download
  Composer: Grieg, Edvard
  String Quartet in G minor, Op.27 (1877-78) 33:20
01 I. Un poco andante - Allegro molto ed agitato 11:49 $ 2.84 USD
02 II. Romanze. Andantino 06:35 $ 1.58 USD
03 III. Intermezzo. Allegro molto marcato - Più vivo e
06:19 $ 1.52 USD
04 IV. Finale. Lento - Presto al saltarello 08:37 $ 2.07 USD
  Composer: Sibelius, Jean
  String Quartet in D minor (Voces Intimae), Op.56 (1909) 28:27
05 I. Andante - Allegro molto moderato 06:08 $ 1.47 USD
06 II. Vivace 02:30 $ 0.60 USD
07 III. Adagio di molto 09:10 $ 2.20 USD
08 IV. Allegretto (ma pesante) 05:14 $ 1.26 USD
09 V. Allegro 05:25 $ 1.30 USD
  Composer: Thommessen, Olav Anton
10 Felix Remix (String Quartet No.4; 2014) 09:07 $ 2.19 USD
  Album total 72:23
ComposerGrieg, Edvard
Sibelius, Jean
Thommessen, Olav Anton
EnsembleEngegård Quartet

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