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11. Streichquartett

By Bellheim

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By Bellheim and Minguet Quartett. By Wolfgang Rihm (1952-). Listening CD. Wergo #WER 67562. Published by Wergo (NX.WER-67562).

Item Number: NX.WER-67562

Wolfgang Rihm's compositions for string quartet, as extensive as they are varied, share no clear common denominator. Despite all the variety that exists, his string quartets have from the beginning been a constant element in his oeuvre: So far, there are thirteen quartets, as well as ten other compositions for or with a string quartet - a selection of these works can be found on this CD.

The “11th String Quartet” (1998/2010) was not finished by Rihm until after his “12th String Quartet” (2000/2001). At the end of this - for Rihm - exceptionally protracted twelve-year period of compositional gestation, there was a piece of work of extreme contrasts: restrained and explosive, simple and virtuoso, fragile and forced to the point of screaming, tightly homophonic and polyphonically splintered to the edge of total dissolution. Rough contrasts determine abrupt shifts in detail as well as, on a larger scale, the different characters of the four movements, which are played without pause.

“Interscriptum. Duo fur Streichquartett und Klavier” is an elaboration of Rihm's “12th String Quartet”. To the quartet ensemble, treated as “one instrument”, a piano part is added, which - as the title “Duo” indicates - initiates a dialogue and creates entirely new relationships within the piece.

“Grave” is dedicated to the Alban Berg Quartet, and was written in response to the group's request for a requiem. The postscript “in memoriam Thomas Kakuska” shows the work to be an epitaph following the death, after a long illness, of Kakuska, the veteran violist of the Alban Berg Quartet, who had performed many of Rihm's works.

co-production with Deutschlandradio.

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