HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): Gran Torso, Grido (String Quartet No. 3), Reigen seliger Geister (String Quartet No. 2).
Catalogue Number: 06L127
Description: As you would expect, Lachenmann's approach to the string quartet consists of avoiding convention as completely as possible - perhaps even more so than usual for the composer, given the medium's formidable legacy of conventions and constraints. Gran Torso (1971, much revised) consists almost entirely of noise effects, meticulously notated; harsh scraping, caressing of the strings with the utmost toneless delicacy, and of course unconventional playing techniques on various parts of the instruments other than their strings. The Second, 'Dance of the Blessed Spirits,' is full of evanescent whisperings and breathlike insubstantial sounds; the final section involves randomly retuning the strings while playing. Grido means 'scream' but is also a partial acronym derived from the names of the then members of the Arditti quartet; the piece blends conventional and unconventional playing techniques in an evolving tapestry of expressionistic texture and dynamic movement. Stadler Quartet. SACD hybrid.