Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
In the Park (2008) by Márta Mártonfi-Benke (b1958)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67999
Recording details: February 2013
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: February 2014
Total duration: 17 minutes 31 seconds

'Kodály’s two string quartets tend to linger under the shadow of the mighty ‘six pack’ that his compatriot Bartók wrote over a period of some 30 years … but they deserve more attention than they’ve so far received … the two shorter works make for attractive makeweights … as to rival versions of the quartets, the gutsy Kontra Quartet (BIS) offer fine readings of both quartets but suffer from an excessively resonant recording; the Kodály Quartet (Hungaroton) are relatively underpowered, especially in the first movement of the First Quartet. Which makes this new album a secure recommendation for both works' (Gramophone) » More

'Kodály's music is invariably approachable, it is welcoming without avoiding complexity … the passion of the opening of String Quartet No 1 sets the tone, but this alternates with an almost neo-classical quality. Folksong shadows much of the work, but does not drive it … superbly played and recorded, these readings are of the highest order' (BBC Music Magazine) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING

'The Dante Quartet give us a glimpse of Kodály's rapid stylistic development in these crisply defined performances. The charming Intermezzo from 1905 shows the influence of Vienna still apparent in the young composer, but by 1908 he was finding his true voice with the pungent, folk song-inspired first quartet, played here with unapologetic vigour by the Dantes. Quartet No 2 combines the pentatonic influence of Debussy with more than a dash of Magyar pepper, the Dantes bringing the tumult of the finale to a gloriously rumbustious close.' (The Observer)

'The delicate, wistful Gavotte joins a similarly beguiling Intermezzo for string trio between Zoltán Kodály’s two string quartets, tougher nuts than either of the two miniatures and stylistically fascinating. Kodály’s studies in Paris in the early 20th century clearly rubbed off in certain similarities that the First Quartet betrays to the milieu of Debussy and Ravel, but it is Gallicism with a Hungarian accent. The Dante Quartet responds both subtly and animatedly to this piquant, passionate music, as it does in the Second Quartet, alert to its mix of astringency and lyricism' (The Daily Telegraph) » More

String Quartet No 2, Op 10
composer
1916/18; dedicated to the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet

Allegro  [6'00]
Allegro giocoso  [6'39]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
After the success of the First String Quartet at Kodály’s first public concert as a composer, on 17 March 1910, he wrote his String Quartet No 2, Op 10, between 1916 and 1918, a period when hostilities cut him off from fieldwork. The piece was dedicated to the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet who had premiered its predecessor as well as giving the first Hungarian performance of the Debussy Quartet that had been its model. Debussy’s influence can still be heard within the pentatonic harmonies of the Second Quartet, though they take on even more magyar tones. Introspective at first, the opening Allegro contrasts quickfire dissonance with more elegiac passages. Again the music has a discursive quality, though a freer modality now reigns. Dance rhythms quietly try to assert themselves within the Andante, though they are stymied by more yearning tones. Finally that energy is unleashed with a pizzicato jolt at the beginning of the final movement and a helter-skelter exchange of thematic material. After a moment of unearthly pause, complete with destabilizing glissandos, Kodály ends with a wild coda.

from notes by Gavin Plumley © 2014

Other albums featuring this work
'Hyperion monthly sampler – February 2014' (HYP201402)
Hyperion monthly sampler – February 2014
MP3 £0.00FLAC £0.00ALAC £0.00 FREE DOWNLOAD HYP201402  Download-only monthly sampler  
Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch