The string quartets of Danish music's eccentric outsider Rued Langgaard (1893-1952) are passionate works of the composer's youth, representing both his nostalgically romantic side and his profoundly visionary modernity. For the first time on CD, this recording series presents all 9 quartets in the award-winning young Nightingale String Quartet's distinctly dramatic interpretation based on the revised Rued Langgaard Edition.
The staying power of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s string quartets rivals that of his symphonies. His quartets are deeply personal works – intensely autobiographical, confessional, intimate, intensely emotional – and among the most insightful works in the quartet repertoire.
Haydn’s six Op. 20 string quartets are milestones in the history of the genre. He wrote them in 1772 for performance by his colleagues at the Esterházy court and, unusually, not specifically for publication. Each one is a unique masterpiece and the set introduces compositional techniques that radically transformed the genre and shaped it for centuries to come. Haydn overturns conventional instrumental roles, crafts remarkably original colours and textures, and unlocks new expressive possibilities in these works which were crucial in establishing the reputation of purely instrumental music. The range within the quartets is kaleidoscopic. From the introspective, chorale-like slow movement of No. 1 via the terse and radical quartet No. 3 in G minor to the comic spirit of the fourth in D major, each of the quartets inhabits a distinct musical world. For many, this is some of the greatest music Haydn ever wrote. Playing these seminal works is one of the world’s finest young ensembles, the Doric String Quartet.
Comprised of vocalist Petra Magoni and bassist Ferruccio Spinetti, Musica Nuda are an Italian vocal jazz-pop duo whose popularity carried over to neighboring countries, especially France, during the mid-2000s. Born in Pisa, Tuscany, on July 28, 1972, Magoni studied music at the Conservatory of Leghorn and at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Milan. A versatile singer, she performed opera at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa early in her career while at the same time fronting a local rock group, Senza Freni. Petra Magoni (1996) marked her full-length solo album debut and was followed by a second solo album, Mulini a Vento (1997). She subsequently adopted the moniker Sweet Anima and released an eponymous album of English-language songs written by Lucio Battisti in 2000. In addition, she collaborated with Giampaolo Antoni in the electro-pop duo Aromatic, which resulted in the album Still Alive (2004). Most successful among her recording ventures, however, was Musica Nuda, a vocal jazz-pop collaboration with Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel bassist Ferruccio Spinetti that made its critically acclaimed eponymous album debut in 2004.
This is one of only two complete recordings of Telemann's Paris Quartets available as a single set, and is much superior to the old Bruggen set. The Kuijkens are all very stylish and engaging performers, and they play these works very well.
Telemann wrote a lot of very good chamber music, but these quartets show him at his best. They are full of wonderful melodies, and some amazing rhythmic quirks. If Telemann had not been so prolific, these works would be considered absolute masterpieces on the order of the Brandenburg Concertos of Bach. They are that good.
The Beethoven quartets have always been at the cote of the Emerson Quartet's repertoire, and over the years it has honed its playing of these works to a fine degree. Here in this new set we encounter exaltation, immaculate playing and ensemble precision of awesome proportions (typically, first and second violinists often swap their roles). The Emerson is perhaps the best rehearsed quartet of our century. The playing is not only flawless technically, but reflects a careful study of the music, both formally and in the players' intense preoccupation with textual matters. The recording of this set is also spectacular.
The second album by Petra Magoni (vocal) and Ferruccio Spinetti (bass) is another piece of an original project, unique in many respects in Italian music. The voice sharp, ironic, bad, sweet Magoni moves back to the great songs of pop music: Come Together, Never Can Say Goodbye, but also original compositions like the beautiful Io Sono Metà or Le Due Corde Vocali in which joins, for the first time, the voice of Ferruccio Spinetti. Two voices to tell a story, a dialogue that sums up well what do you look for in Musica Nuda 2: the sharp reduction to the bare essentials across with ironic depth.