- Performer: Arditti String Quartet
- Composer: Arditti String Quartet
- Audio CD (Jan. 14 1997)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Sme
- ASIN: B0000029OY
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
V1: Ligeti: String Quartets Import
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This is a fine collection of moving, muscular performances by this seminal postwar composer. Surely the best known of the works on this disc is the Second String Quartet, one of the masterpieces of 20th-century music--although you might not know it's a masterpiece until the heartbreaking last movement. But the First String Quartet, written before Ligeti emigrated from Hungary to the West, is fascinating: it shows Ligeti working through the influence of Bartók, particularly Bartók's Third and Fourth Quartets--music Ligeti knew only silently, from the score, since performances of Bartók's music were banned by the Hungarian communist regime. This excellent recording provides a complete overview of Ligeti's compositional career through the medium of string chamber music, from homages to Bartók to the achievement of Ligeti's own groundbreaking style. --Joshua Cody
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I've listened to the Deutsche Grammophon analog recording of String Quartet No. 2 for years. With this newer digitally recorded CD, expertly played by the Arditti Quartet, so many things come to light that have been previously obscured.
It's difficult to find something to add to the reviews that appear below. It is just that if you are a fan of Ligeti's music, you will surely take pleasure in this CD. My favorite piece on the CD is, of course, String Quartet No. 2, but it might just be its familiarity that makes it more enjoyable.
One of the things I like most about Ligeti's music is his originality. He doesn't seem to fit into any genre that I'm familiar with. Yes, I'm sure there are others that are adept at writing microtonal compositions. But his consistency is incredible, and this CD helps prove that.
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One review said that this music is very similar to the quartets of Bartok, Liget's fellow countryman. I do hear that, but I also hear more of a resemblance to the music of Krysztof Penderecki, who I am a huge fan of. Namely that terrifying sense of horror that these composers can often have in their music, which can sometimes stereotype them into composers for psychological horror movies and David Lynch nightmares. But they are better than that, thankfully. Ligeti displays moments in these works which rival even Beethoven in his late quartets. Plus the last few little pieces (all world premieres as of this recording) have a light pleasantness which brings on a more easy-going atmosphere (sorry again!) All in all this is music worth delving into. The disc contains, among others, the first 2 string quartets of Ligeti, and the premieres are for reduced ensemble. Not to be missed.------------------------PEACE
The recording of the 2nd quartet is, as usual with the Arditti Quartet, phenomenal, but what makes this recording is their production of his 1st quartet. The performance is very clean and precise, yet still very musical. Most impressive of all, Arditti stays true to Ligeti's tempi, including the blistering tempo of the end!
As an added bonus, there are two very delightful duets for violins, which are very tonal and based on Hungarian folk tunes (these were written as part of graduation from the Budapest Academy of Music).