ZBIGNIEW BARGIELSKI (b.1937): String Quartets No. 1 "Alpine", No. 2 "Spring", No. 3 "Still Life with a Scream", No. 4 "Burning Time", No. 5 "The Time That's Passed" and No. 6 "Dramatic", A Night of Farewells for Accordion and String Quartet, Through the Looking Glass for Clarinet and String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 10O099
Label: CD Accord
Reference: ACD 173-2
Description: All the quartets except the Fifth are single-movement spans of about a quarter hour, loosely based on a suggestion of sonata-form interchange of opposing ideas in successive sections. The first two are similarly structured, with aleatoric elements and repeated gestures establishing a kind of quasi-tonal gravitational center. The Second is less homogeneous in texture, and highly dissonant, almost unpitched episodes and extended percussive effects lend the piece an expressionistic vehemence and a more modernistic feeling. This carries over somewhat into the Third, though here there is an element of romantic lyricism and melodic line that was absent previously, which nevertheless comes into conflict with strident sonorist modernism as the main action progresses. A Night adds the rich chordal possibilities of the accordion lending the piece a sense of dense, chromatic expression, melancholy and emotionally charged. The Fourth accumulates layers of texture around the cello's initial, anchoring pizzicato gesture, with increasing density of harmonics and microtonal timbral enrichment of the texture. The Fifth is a suite of miniatures, post-modern nostalgia as opposed to modernist drama, even to the extent of incorporating suggestions of rustic sentimentality. The Sixth returns to the single-span format, here presenting the opposition of consonant, tonal-sounding material and increasingly saturated, agitated passages. Looking Glass is a serene and lyrical miniature clarinet concertino, gentle, sometimes playful, and wistfully autumnal. 2 CDs. Marek Andrysek (accordion), Roman Widaszek (clarinet), Silesian String Quartet.