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Quartets - Released September 7, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released July 3, 2020 | CPO

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Chamber Music - Released January 6, 2015 | CPO

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Chamber Music - Released May 20, 2016 | CPO

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Chamber Music - Released August 1, 2013 | NEOS Music

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Classical - Released June 2, 2017 | Wergo

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Classical - Released November 26, 2005 | col legno

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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | Musicaphon

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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Wergo

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Chamber Music - Released January 6, 2017 | NEOS Music

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Classical - Released November 26, 2002 | col legno

Wolfgang Rihm's challenging music is notoriously difficult to define or categorize, not only when his works are considered as an oeuvre or taken separately, but even within the parameters of one piece. Take his violent String Quartet No. 5, "Ohne Titel," which seems on one level to be a perpetual motion machine, drilling on rapidly repeated pitches and driving forward through its four movements with relentless energy toward its mysterious fadeout. That is one possibility, but it may also be regarded as a highly focused study of raw string sonorities, or a tour de force of expressionist angst and fury, or merely the logical and ultimate development of a single-germ motive. Since Rihm's subtitle pointedly discloses nothing, his intentions are anybody's guess. The more varied String Quartet No. 6, "Blaubuch," seems easier to fathom; even though it is much longer than the previous quartet and requires more sitzfleish of the listener, its very expansiveness and changeability make it less dense and more accessible. However, Rihm's restless music still resists pat descriptions or any single meaning. The Minguet Quartett displays phenomenal endurance and brilliant technique in these daunting quartets, and Col Legno's recording reproduces its heroic efforts faithfully, with great resonance and presence. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released October 4, 2011 | CPO

Booklet
Felix Mendelssohn penned a total of seven string quartets during his short life. Two quartets at the antipodes of his output are both tragic works in their own right, the Second Quartet written in response to Beethoven's death, and the last following the debilitating loss of his sister, Fanny, and only months before his own untimely death. Though only 20 years span the two works, they represent a lifetime of maturation and musical advancement, with the Quartet in F minor, Op. 80, clearly paving the way for the quartets of future generations. The Cologne-based Minguet Quartet offers electrifying, sweepingly passionate performances of these two emotion-packed compositions for this CPO album. Each member possesses a decisively meticulous technique that is mirrored in the precise intonation, detailed articulation, and seamless interplay heard throughout the disc. An almost electric vibrance of the inner voices propels the fast movements forward, and careful control of pacing and poignancy of tone allow listeners to savor the emotional impact of the slow movements. CPO's sound is punchy and responsive, capturing the broad dynamics, myriad colors, and forcefully present tone of the Minguet Quartet. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 26, 2004 | col legno

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 advanced techniques and sonic distortions of the String Quartet No. 8 (1987-1988) and the unpredictable evolution of simple diatonic ideas in the String Quartet No. 9, "Quartettsatz" (1992-1993), may be regarded as even more evasive maneuvers, seemingly scattered and inconsistent, but designed to prevent anticipation and to train the players and the audience to stay in the moment. The Minguet Quartett succeeds admirably in this intensely virtuosic music, and makes Rihm's seemingly disjointed but extraordinarily fecund works coherent through its tight, focused playing and alertness to all gradations of tone, timbre, and dynamics. Because Col Legno's reproduction is well-balanced, clear, and resonant, the Minguet Quartett sounds utterly natural and unprocessed, though a bit subdued in presence. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 6, 2013 | Wergo

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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | NEOS Music

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Classical - Released June 19, 2015 | Wergo

For those who tend to avoid music from German modernist mainstream of Henze and Rihm, give Jörg Widmann a try. His music may have dissonant, forbidding surfaces, but it's a good deal more accessible than the work of the two aforementioned composers, with hugely dramatic and entertaining contrasts, extreme virtuosity and dynamic range, and bold gestures such as shouting players. Included here are Widmann's five numbered string quartets, one of them with voice. Each is in a single movement, and taken as a whole the group with its internal utterances has characteristics of a single utterance. There are also two unnumbered pieces for quartet, one of them with the title 180 Beats per Minute. Here and elsewhere Widmann shows the influence of electronic dance music, something his predecessors definitely wouldn't have countenanced, and it adds to the general appeal. With music that comes down to barely audible plucking, one will want first of all a label that can handle the engineering challenges, and it would be hard to do better than the German label Wergo, working in the Deutschlandfunk Chamber Music Room in Cologne. But really the credit goes to the players of the Minguet Quartet, whose members throw themselves into Widmann's tumultuous yet showy music without ever losing control of it. Recommended. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released October 21, 2011 | Wergo

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Classical - Released October 1, 2000 | Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm (MDG)

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Chamber Music - To be released August 6, 2021 | CPO

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Classical - Released February 1, 2001 | Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm (MDG)