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Quatuor Diotima|Metamorphosis Ligeti

Metamorphosis Ligeti

Quatuor Diotima

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The Metamorphosis Ligeti referred to in the title of this PentaTone Classics release could refer to the subtitle of Ligeti's String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes"). It could also suggest how much Ligeti's style changed in the 15 years between the String Quartet No. 1 and String Quartet No. 2; the first quartet was begun in 1953 and still, with its Hungarian folk influences, still fit barely within the dictates of Hungarian socialist realism, while the second is an extreme modernist work. However, the two works are not so far apart as a casual listen might indicate, and the edgy performances of the Quatuor Diotima emphasize the continuity. The String Quartet No. 1 consists of a dozen short movements, as brief as 55 seconds, that, in their economy, suggest that something other than semi-traditional melodic material is happening here, and the Quatuor Diotima gives sharp, clipped performances that bring out the modernity of the work. The quartet is sometimes called "Bartók's seventh quartet," but the Quatuor Diotima stresses the departures from Bartók. The same is true even in the Andante and Allegretto for string quartet of 1950, a more folk-oriented work. The String Quartet No. 1 has its quota of technical challenges, but it is simple compared with the Second Quartet, a work that requires hair-trigger concentration from the players and the ability to make extremely quiet sounds at the top of the instruments' registers. The Quatuor Diotima's performance in the various insectlike sounds in the work is nonpareil. A truly excellent Ligeti recording that penetrates deeply into the composer's essence.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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Metamorphosis Ligeti

Quatuor Diotima

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String Quartet No. 1, "Metamorphoses nocturnes" (György Ligeti)

1
I. Allegro grazioso
00:01:28

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

2
Ii. Vivace, capriccioso
00:01:51

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

3
Iii. Adagio, mesto
00:02:13

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

4
Iv. Presto
00:01:08

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

5
V. Prestissimo
00:01:24

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

6
Vi. Andante tranquillo
00:03:12

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

7
Vii. Tempo di Valse, moderato, con eleganza, un poco capriccioso
00:00:52

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

8
Viii. Subito prestissimo
00:01:31

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

9
Ix. Allegretto, un poco giovale
00:00:55

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

10
X. Poco più mosso
00:01:41

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

11
Xi. Prestissimo
00:01:34

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

12
Xii. Ad libitum, senza misura
00:03:15

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

Andante and Allegretto for String Quartet (György Ligeti)

13
I. Andante cantabile
00:06:29

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

14
Ii. Allegretto poco capriccioso
00:06:42

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

String Quartet No. 2 (György Ligeti)

15
I. Allegro nervoso
00:04:40

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

16
Ii. Sostenuto, molto calmo
00:04:41

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

17
Iii. Come un meccanismo di precisione
00:03:14

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

18
Iv. Presto furioso, brutale, tumultuoso
00:01:57

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

19
V. Allegro con delicatezza
00:04:57

Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

Album review

The Metamorphosis Ligeti referred to in the title of this PentaTone Classics release could refer to the subtitle of Ligeti's String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes"). It could also suggest how much Ligeti's style changed in the 15 years between the String Quartet No. 1 and String Quartet No. 2; the first quartet was begun in 1953 and still, with its Hungarian folk influences, still fit barely within the dictates of Hungarian socialist realism, while the second is an extreme modernist work. However, the two works are not so far apart as a casual listen might indicate, and the edgy performances of the Quatuor Diotima emphasize the continuity. The String Quartet No. 1 consists of a dozen short movements, as brief as 55 seconds, that, in their economy, suggest that something other than semi-traditional melodic material is happening here, and the Quatuor Diotima gives sharp, clipped performances that bring out the modernity of the work. The quartet is sometimes called "Bartók's seventh quartet," but the Quatuor Diotima stresses the departures from Bartók. The same is true even in the Andante and Allegretto for string quartet of 1950, a more folk-oriented work. The String Quartet No. 1 has its quota of technical challenges, but it is simple compared with the Second Quartet, a work that requires hair-trigger concentration from the players and the ability to make extremely quiet sounds at the top of the instruments' registers. The Quatuor Diotima's performance in the various insectlike sounds in the work is nonpareil. A truly excellent Ligeti recording that penetrates deeply into the composer's essence.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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