CRISTÓBAL HALFFTER (b.1930): String Quartets, Vol. 2 - Quartets No. 2 and No. 7 "Espacio de silencio".

Catalogue Number: 08N115

Label: Anemos

Reference: C33007

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

No Longer Available

Description: As we saw in vol. 1 of this series (August 2010), Halffter's approach to the quartet medium is stylistically expansive, explicitly acknowledging its venerable tradition while incorporating every aspect of his wide-ranging avant garde æsthetics. The Second incorporates three fragments of Beethoven's Op. 135 (in honor of Beethoven's 200th anniversary in 1970, the year Halffter's work was written). These occur as momentary crystallisations of tonality in an otherwise atonal landscape, laden with clustered sonorities even in the the quiet episodes amid otherwise frantic, scurrying activity. The two shorter works are from the 1990s, occasional pieces honoring Alfred Schlee of Universal edition and Paul Sacher; both combine the composer's characteristic explosive brilliance with episodes of the kind of tense restraint heard in the Second Quartet. The seventh, and most recent quartet (2007), 'Space of Silence' takes the contrast between brittle timbres and abrupt dynamic changes on the one hand and suddenly static held tones on the other, to an even greater extreme, sometimes presenting both types of material simultaneously. The past is also present, again, this time in brief quotations from Renaissance motets. Arditti Quartet.

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