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Danish String Quartet|Prism I (Bach, Shostakovich, Beethoven)

Prism I (Bach, Shostakovich, Beethoven)

Danish String Quartet

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Programs containing a Baroque or Classical work, a Romantic work, and a 20th century work used to be standard, and with its Prism series the Danish String Quartet, of which this release is the first, seems poised to bring new rigor to the concept. They intend not only to combine works from these eras but to pass from "a Bach fugue through one of the late Beethoven quartets to the music of a subsequent composer" and to draw "lines of connection" among them. On the latter count the quartet might have chosen more direct lines: the String Quartet No. 12 in E flat, Op. 127, is perhaps the least contrapuntal of the late Beethoven quartets, and it seems less connected to the agonized, irregular String Quartet No. 15 in E flat major of the dying Shostakovich than would one of the other late quartets, perhaps the String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132, with its intense depiction of illness and recovery in its formally shocking central movement. Leaving these qualms aside, however, the performances are beautiful, with the quartet shifting effortlessly from smooth, almost glassy textures to violent paroxysms. The Bach fugue that opens the program (Mozart's arrangement is used, which works well with the overall concept) sets a meditative space, and the Shostakovich, edgy and violent, and the Beethoven, mysteriously lyrical, form a compelling pair. Sample the Beethoven slow movement to hear the silent, spacious acoustic treatment given the Reitstadel Neumarkt by the ECM engineering staff, who have outdone themselves here. One awaits with pleasure future releases in the series.
© TiVo

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Prism I (Bach, Shostakovich, Beethoven)

Danish String Quartet

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The Well-Tempered Clavier: Book 2, BWV 870-893 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Fugue in E-Flat Major, BWV 876
00:02:02

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

String Quartet No. 15 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 144 (Dimitri Chostakovitch)

2
1. Elegy. Adagio
00:13:27

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Dmitri Shostakovich, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH

3
2. Serenade. Adagio
00:06:11

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Dmitri Shostakovich, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH

4
3. Intermezzo. Adagio
00:01:36

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Dmitri Shostakovich, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH

5
4. Nocturne. Adagio
00:04:23

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Dmitri Shostakovich, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH

6
5. Funeral March. Adagio molto
00:05:03

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Dmitri Shostakovich, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH

7
6. Epilogue. Adagio
00:06:49

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Dmitri Shostakovich, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH

String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat Major, Op. 127 (Ludwig van Beethoven)

8
1. Maestoso - Allegro
00:06:45

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
2. Adagio ma non troppo e molto cantabile
00:16:23

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
3. Scherzo. Vivace
00:08:24

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
4. Finale
00:07:06

Danish String Quartet (Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen, Violin - Frederik Øland, Violin - Asbjørn Nørgaard, Viola - Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, Cello) - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

℗ 2018 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

Programs containing a Baroque or Classical work, a Romantic work, and a 20th century work used to be standard, and with its Prism series the Danish String Quartet, of which this release is the first, seems poised to bring new rigor to the concept. They intend not only to combine works from these eras but to pass from "a Bach fugue through one of the late Beethoven quartets to the music of a subsequent composer" and to draw "lines of connection" among them. On the latter count the quartet might have chosen more direct lines: the String Quartet No. 12 in E flat, Op. 127, is perhaps the least contrapuntal of the late Beethoven quartets, and it seems less connected to the agonized, irregular String Quartet No. 15 in E flat major of the dying Shostakovich than would one of the other late quartets, perhaps the String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132, with its intense depiction of illness and recovery in its formally shocking central movement. Leaving these qualms aside, however, the performances are beautiful, with the quartet shifting effortlessly from smooth, almost glassy textures to violent paroxysms. The Bach fugue that opens the program (Mozart's arrangement is used, which works well with the overall concept) sets a meditative space, and the Shostakovich, edgy and violent, and the Beethoven, mysteriously lyrical, form a compelling pair. Sample the Beethoven slow movement to hear the silent, spacious acoustic treatment given the Reitstadel Neumarkt by the ECM engineering staff, who have outdone themselves here. One awaits with pleasure future releases in the series.
© TiVo

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