ALEKSANDER KOSCIÓW (b.1974): String Quartets Nos. 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10.
Catalogue Number: 04Q091
Description: These quartets seem to suggest an intriguing compositional trajectory, tending toward a greater degree of stylistic inclusiveness. The eight movements of the Tenth encapsulate the diverse styles encountered in the earlier quartets into separate components; there is the sonoristic one, the post-minimalist one, the viol consort one, and so on. The effect is of detailed micrographs, that might be close examination of the minutest details of a larger, multi-textured sculptural object. No.5 is a perpetuum mobile consisting of a sequence of episodes of different mechanistic, minimalist gestures, which abruptly supplant one another. No.3 is less consonant than No.5, with a pounding, propulsive energy that at times suggests the ponding rhythms and screaming guitars of certain types of rock music. This is abruptly replaced by its complete opposite; static, isolated ethereal gestures in harmonics, metrically unmeasured; then a slow threnody over a heavy ostinato figure concludes the work. In No.6 the first movement is equal parts viol consort and new spirituality tintinnabulary undulation. The second, also slow, with a stately pulse, sounds like an eerie, distant echo of Renaissance polyphony in high-pitched, keening timbres. No.9 combines aspects of the earlier quartets into a kind of sequential polystylism, beginning in dramatic dissonant chords and glissandi, then taking in extended minimalistic passages, either accompanying a long-breathed melody or alone, and episodes in extended techniques. The minimal music recurs, suddenly overlain and eventually replaced, by consort of viols textures, which decay rapidly into dissonant grinding, and fade away. NeoQuartet.