“This CD with the first four string quartets reflects the interesting path of Rihm’s artistic development. The Minguet Quartet approaches the first two, shorter, works with audibly high concentration without relinquishing, in the frenzy of high-energy playing, their own cultivated sound born from quartet tradition. Here, Rihm’s third quartet, with its not unproblematic subtitle ‘Im Innersten’ (‘at the innermost core’), does not become self-indulgent ….Klassik Heute, September, 2003
The Minguett Quartet recorded nearly the full cycle of Wolfgang Rihm's string quartets for Collegno, and it's a shame these discs are now out of print. The Minguett Quartet are Ulrich Isfort and Annette Reisinger (violins), Aroa Sorin (viola) and Matthias Diener (cello). On this volume of the cycle, we find three quartets from the 1990s and early millennium, a time when Rihm returned to the effusive expressionism that had first made him famous, after a few years of wispy, piannissimo music imitative of Nono and Lachenmann…….Christopher Culver @ Amazon.com
From a composer whose vast output plunders the stylistic gamut of western musical history and then some, here is a single movement requiem full of clean lines and troubled introspection. Et Lux is a 2009 composition for voices and string quartet in which Rihm dwells on certain phrases of the Latin death mass – particularly the notion of eternal light, which he calls “comforting yet deeply disturbing”. The same could be said of Et Lux as a whole. Tropes waft in from across the ages: this music treads the line of tangibility, with sudden rushes of anger or fondness and the messy half-memories that come with grief. The strings complete phrases that the singers can’t seem to summon. Conductor Paul van Nevel doubles the vocal parts to create broad, generous textures that sound lovely and lush against the strings’ icy clarity – all qualities that ECM’s engineers are expert at capturing.
Wolfgang Rihm’s compositions for string quartet, as extensive as they are varied, share no clear common denominator. Despite all the variety that exists, his string quartets have from the beginning been a constant element in his oeuvre: So far, there are thirteen quartets, as well as ten other compositions for or with a string quartet – a selection of these works can be found on this CD……
Col Legno's third volume of Wolfgang Rihm's string quartets is, like its predecessors, an album of vigorous and challenging works that defy easy descriptions, resist stylistic associations, and put listeners on their mettle. If the fragmentary gestures, sudden digressions, and unconventional sounds (wood blocks, voices) of the String Quartet No. 7, "Veränderungen" (1985), are signs of Rihm's restless search for a music freed of expectations, then the …..Blair Sanderson @ AllMusic.com
That the two single-movement string quartets No. 5 (“Ohne Titel”) and No. 6 (“Blaubuch”), composed in 1981/83 and 1984, belong to the most passionate of Rihm’s quartets is due to their restless vigor. This impulsive approach is of course always present in his music. But even the tempo indications “fast, restless” and “fast und free” suggest a certain stringency - which is fully realized in the pieces. A sense of inner disquiet pulls …..
Many of Richard Strauss´s compositions had their world premiere in Dresden and the composer dedicated An Alpine Symphony to the Dresden orchestra. The programme includes Four Last Songs, Ernster Gesang by Wolfgang Rihm and the German premiere of the last completed Strauss song "Mallows" in an orchestral version, arranged specifically for Dresden by Wolfgang Rihm.
This is Volume Six of the Rihm Edition, another excellent entry in Hanssler's composer-curated series of recordings by the orchestras of the SWR (Southwest German Radio). This time around we find Sylvain Cambreling leading his SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg in two concertos. "Uber die Linie II: Musik fur Klarinette und Orchester" (1999 – 37'07) was written for Jorg Widmann, composer, clarinettist, and Rihm protege….Autonomeus @ Amazon.com
Wolfgang Rihm's works often emerge in family groups, with one piece serving as the starting point for a whole hierarchy of others, but the starting point for the five movements of the Nähe Ferne symphony was another composer. Rihm was commissioned by the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra to write pendants to each of Brahms's four symphonies, and after they were performed, he assembled the set into a symphony of his own, adding to the sequence an orchestration ……Andrew Clements - The Guardian, Thursday 25 April 2013