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Chamber Music - Released January 5, 2018 | Alba
Why, just why - you might well ask - did Esa-Pekka Salnonen choose to call his 2007 work for string quartets Homunculus? The story behind the name is a little bawdy: the late-medieval "spermist" theory, formulated by Paracelsus and others and still in vogue by the mid-18th Century, had it that spermatozoa were in fact fully-formed "little men", who only needed to be placed into the mother's womb to grow. Hence the Latin name meaning "little man", for this piece which, although short, contains an impressive amount of musical material. Curiously, for a composer who is known for his avant-gardist leanings, this work doesn't shy away from tonal poles, harmonic exchanges of any all kinds: clearly he'd had enough of the excesses of the avant-garde... The Kamus Quartet carries on with the First Quartet from Ligeti's "Nocturnal Metamorphoses", written in 1954 in a language which doesn't try to hide its inheritance from Bartók's final quartets, even if it far surpasses in force and verve anything that Bartók could have imagined. Finally, the album ends on the beautiful (and rarely-performed) Third and final Quartet by Britten, written between Aldeburgh and Venice in 1975, when he was already critically ill. It was not performed until two weeks after his death; the poignant language, painstakingly distilled from his style and his previous writing was is a veritable testament and "summary" of late Britten. The Kamus Quartet, founded in Helsinki about 15 years ago, eagerly explores the repertoires of the 20th and 21st Centuries, as well as Nordic music in its broadest sense - all the way to the Baltic countries. © SM/Qobuz
Classical - Released March 3, 2017 | Alba
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