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ClassicsOnline Home » RIIS, M.: getString / from String / toString / VOIGT-LUND, J.: Circuitous, Mountains / STEEN-ANDERSEN, S.: String Quartet (Silesian String Quartet)
The Euro Kronos?
The Silesian String Quartet, from Poland, may well be the "Kronos Quartet of Eastern Europe" - which is meant as high praise. This impressive group has a new release on the Danish DaCapo label, "Get String". Each piece on this disc is an example of cutting edge contemporary writing by a young Danish composer and each piece is "linked", almost seamlessly, by what is described as an "electronic mix" - of the pieces before and after the link - by the composer Morten Riis.
The key to appreciating this disc is to be prepared for some amazing extended techniques and writing that transforms the string quartet into something almost beyond itself - every selection contains moments where the listener is perhaps not quite sure that they are listening to four traditional acoustic stringed instruments. The opening piece, "Circuitous, Mountains" by Jens Voigt-Lund contains ample nervous energy in between little bursts of melody and tonality not to mention some incredible bow work played mostly in the uppermost register! A very colorful piece.
The Christian Winther Christensen work that follows uses plenty of bounce bow, col legno, harmonics and other technically challenging effects, creating an almost more terrifying relative of "Black Angels" by George Crumb.
"Intend/Ascend" (2001) by Jexper Holmen amplifies and distorts the string sound throughout. One player even switches to celesta near the end! Holmen self describes the feel as savage and indicates that his intent was to develop a work for "string quartet set to music; not a piece of music set for string quartet" Perhaps the most difficult to listen to on the disc, the overall effect is almost "metal" in its intensity and timbre.
Simon Steen-Anderson's "String Quartet" (1999) is a piece driven by energy that the composer likens to a "tour into sound (and) musical line". Various small motives built frequently on harmonics are slid upward and into or donward; away from. more....
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RIIS, M.: getString / from String / toString / VOI...