EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): String Quartets No. 3, Op. 25, No. 4, Op. 28 & No. 6, Op. 44.
Catalogue Number: 09K070
Reference: NI 5821
Description: Unlike his late post-war symphonies, Wellesz's nine string quartets cover his entire career. The third of 1918 is the last of his pre-mature period quartets, a 30-minute piece almost as long as the other two here put together. The composer blends diatonic and chromatic tonality, employs Debussian-impressionist textures in places, a Hungarian inflexion elsewhere, as he assimilates the various traditions available to an Austrian composer at the time. From only two years later, the Fourth is firmly in the expressionist Second Viennese School, extremely chromatic, and looking strikingly ahead to Berg's Lyric Suite. Dating from 1946, the Sixth is a contemporary of his Symphony No. 2, returning to a broadly traditional tonality in which a spiky neo-classicism mixes with a Schubertian lyricism. Artis Quartett Wien.