WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): String Quartet No. 12, Fetzen for Accordion and String Quartet, Interscriptum for String Quartet and Piano.

Catalogue Number: 06M104

Label: Winter & Winter

Reference: 910 178-2

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The quartet is a strongly cohesive work in one long, tautly argued paragraph, a continuous flow of argument. Rihm largely avoids the wilder excesses of extended techniques, though the work's textures are not exactly conventional, and it is the work's tough, discursive quality - at times powerfully reminiscent of late Beethoven - that makes it most remarkable. The Fetzen, on the other hand, sound like sketchbook fragments - thoroughly formed ones - some of which identifiably found their way into the quartet, or vice versa. Some, especially those most prominently featuring the accordion, are studies in texture, the instruments imitating each other, then exerting their independence and celebrating their different capabilities. Interscriptum has more in common with the Fetzen; the work sounds like a mosaic of disparate ideas; sometimes the instruments present a continuous line of argument, but more often than not this is abruptly disrupted (often instigated by the piano) and part of the ensemble takes off at a tangent, leading to a new line of discussion altogether. As with much of Rihm's music of the past decade or so, tonal elements, while not the music's most obvious feature, are frequently present, lending a sense of cohesiveness and movement, and an almost neo-romantic sense of narrative. Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion), Nicolas Hodges (piano), Arditti String Quartet.

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