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Classical - Released October 20, 2017 | Winter & Winter

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording
Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen's four quartets are presented here by the famous Arditti String Quartet, in reverse order of composition: the  Fourth (2012), the Third, (2008), the Second (1981) - you may have noticed the huge gap, which will make more sense once you know that between 1990 and 2000 he put down his pen and stopped composing altogether - and then the First (1973), which was written as "Ten Preludes". From his earliest days as a composer, Abrahamsen has shunned the avant-garde doctrines of the "Darmstadt School", preferring to learn from his teacher Ligeti, in a language he took to calling the "New Simplicity". When listening to these four works, one is indeed struck by Abrahamsen's ability to create recognisable lines, at once modern and very old, sometimes bearing the traces (real or imagined) of folk airs, with a clear love for the most keening moments; and putting harmonics to mind-blowing use. The listener will realised that they are in the presence of a highly original piece of music, modern for sure: but it doesn't require a forced intellectual effort – rather, it demands that the listener abandon themselves to the rich and captivating discourse of the four musicians of the Arditti Quartet. © SM/Qobuz
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Quartets - Released January 15, 2013 | Aeon

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
Catalan composer Roberto Gerhard was a student of Arnold Schoenberg and an important innovator of serial procedures in the 1950s, though there are aspects of his music that reflect older practices, including traditional Spanish folk music, Baroque and Classical forms, and some influences of his modern compatriots, Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, and Manuel de Falla. The two numbered string quartets are mature works that incorporate these varied elements, yet cohere perfectly well on their own as wholly integrated personal expressions, without seeming derivative or overtly referential. The Arditti String Quartet performs these pieces with its customary facility and virtuosic brilliance, and violinist Irvine Arditti fills out the remainder of the program with a passionate performance of Gerhard's Chaconne for solo violin, offering the listener an album just under 55 minutes, which may seem rather short in duration, except for the fact that the music is quite concentrated and intense. The reproduction is clear and vibrant in a highly resonant space, though the strings' tone isn't especially warm. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 28, 2011 | Winter & Winter

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released February 24, 2015 | Aeon

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Classical - Released May 26, 2017 | Aeon

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award
This Aeon label release of music by French composer Pascal Dusapin borrows design elements from ECM, with artsy black-and-white photos, philosophical-sounding text strewn around, and stark, Euro title type. ECM, however, avoids a profusion of booklet text, but here you get a formidable philosophical apparatus involving "L'inépuisable" (The Inexhaustible), both Samuel Beckett and Gilles Deleuze, and the German concept of the Hinterland. Nowhere is it explained why one of the works is called a "hapax" (a word that occurs only once in a work or body of work), or even such basic questions as why the Quatuor VI is called a quartet when it is really a work for string quartet and orchestra. All this aside, the music certainly holds your attention. Dusapin was influenced by Varèse's Arcana as a youth, and these pieces have the heated quality of that work. The movements of the Quatuor VI are described as "attempts at exhaustion" ("tentatives d'épuisement"), and indeed they elaborate initial material, in a violent atmosphere, to a point of what might be called exhaustion. Perhaps the stronger of the two works is the Quatuor VII ("Open Time"), like its predecessor composed in 2009. It's a set of 21 variations for string quartet, some of them in the Varèse-like mood, but some of them sparse enough to justify the Beckett comparison. The Arditti Quartet specializes in music of this kind, and has recorded Dusapin specifically in the past; their recording surely is definitive. Aeon's studio sound, close up and intense, is just what is needed. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 9, 1996 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released April 4, 2014 | Winter & Winter

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Quartets - Released November 3, 2017 | Stradivarius

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released June 18, 2021 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet
The German-French composer Mark Andre (born 1964) is one of the most important representatives of New Music. His twelve Miniatures for string quartet were composed in 2014/17 as a commission from the Arditti Quartet, Bavarian Radio's "musica viva", the Festival Automne à Paris and the ProQuartet-CEMC, funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. Andre created his organ work Himmelfahrt, funded by the Siemens Music Foundation, in 2018 on behalf of the Evangelical Church in Germany. The orchestral work woher... wohin was written between 2015 and 2017 as a composition commission by BR's "musica viva" in conjunction with the Happy New Ears prize for composition from the Hans and Gertrud Zender Foundation. The album edition of the Bavarian Radio concert series "musica viva", which began in 2000, has been continued since autumn 2020 together with BR-KLASSIK. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of "musica viva" (the concert series was founded by Karl Amadeus Hartmann in 1945), recordings with works by the contemporary composer Rebecca Saunders (born 1967) and the composer Enno Poppe (born 1969) appeared as first releases in October 2020. The edition is now being continued with works by Mark Andre (born 1964). All the recordings feature live recordings made at "musica viva" concerts with the Bavarian Radio Chorus, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and renowned soloists. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released March 24, 2014 | Aeon

Hi-Res Booklet
If any chamber group has the technical wherewithal to perform Brian Ferneyhough's complete works for string quartet and string trio, the Arditti Quartet surely takes pride of place. This three-CD package from Æon is a bracing survey of Ferneyhough's profoundly complex and challenging works, covering the Sonatas for string quartet (1967); the String Quartets Nos. 2-6 (1980-2010), with soprano Claron McFadden singing in the String Quartet No. 4; the Streichtrio (1994) and the String Trio (1995); Adagissimo (1983); Dum transisset I-IV (2006); and Exordium (2008). Ferneyhough is a proponent of the New Complexity, and uses ideas and strategies developed by the avant-garde in the late 20th century, including intuitive procedures that employ the total chromatic without strict observance of rows or other series. The music is uncompromisingly intense, angular, and fragmented in the extreme, and its myriad difficulties aren't disguised or softened. The Arditti Quartet specializes in such cutting-edge music, and they are at their best in works that stretch the boundaries of expression and technique. This set is recommended for adventurous listeners and serious students of Ferneyhough's work. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1994 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released July 15, 2013 | naïve classique

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Quartets - Released March 16, 2009 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released February 25, 2010 | Aeon

Booklet
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Quartets - Released March 16, 2009 | naïve classique

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Chamber Music - Released February 22, 2005 | Mode Records

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Classical - Released June 16, 2013 | Stradivarius

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Classical - Released October 11, 2005 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released December 6, 2013 | Wergo

The quartets of Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa presented here bring to mind a fusion of Western avant-garde textures and extended instrumental techniques with traditional Japanese aesthetics. It's an immensely absorbing combination, and his music appears to have evolved over the years in a more Japanese direction while not losing any of its innovative qualities. Consider the opening work, Blossoming, which true to its name depicts the blossoming of a flower. It sounds like a hackneyed concept, but the realization here is striking: the action unfolds over nearly 14 minutes coalescing out of silence and then a panoply of minute details. All the music uses silence in compelling ways. Possibly the highlight is the set entitled Kalligraphie (tracks 3-8), which again is straightforward in concept: it depicts the graceful brushstokes of traditional Japanese writing. But again the level of detail is striking; the work achieves an almost verbal utterance. The works on the album, though recognizably the product of the same composer, do not repeat themselves, and their engagement with traditional visual aesthetics have manifestly deepened over the 30 years during which they were composed. Needless to say, the technical requirements of this music for both the players and the engineers are formidable, and both the Arditti Quartet and the Wergo-label team are up to the task; the hair-trigger tension achieved by the Arditti players is remarkable. This is for even those who don't think they like contemporary string quartets. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 1, 2005 | Stradivarius