Hyperion Records

String Quartet No 6, Sz114
composer
1939

Recordings
'Bartók: String Quartets' (CDD22003)
Bartók: String Quartets
Buy by post £27.98 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDD22003  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service  
Details
Movement 1: Mesto – Piů mosso, pesante – Vivace
Track 9 on CDD22003 CD2 [7'41] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Movement 2: Mesto – Marcia
Track 10 on CDD22003 CD2 [7'38] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Movement 3: Mesto – Burletta: Moderato
Track 11 on CDD22003 CD2 [6'57] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Movement 4: Mesto
Track 12 on CDD22003 CD2 [6'24] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service

String Quartet No 6, Sz114
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The Sixth Quartet was written towards the end of 1939 when Bartók, then 57 years old, was in a low emotional state. Although Hungary was not at first directly involved, World War II had broken out during the composition of the work, and his mother was mortally ill (she died a month after the Quartet was finished). Whilst it does not necessarily follow that the emotional tenor of the Sixth Quartet was suggested by these events, it is not hard to envisage Bartók’s concern in much of the work’s tragic nature, yet it also recalls aspects of Contrasts, the Music for strings, percussion and celesta, and the Divertimento. Structurally the Sixth Quartet breaks fresh ground. It is the only one of Bartók’s Quartets ostensibly in four movements, but the first three are prefaced by the same ‘motto’ theme, rather differently treated, which is headed ‘Mesto’ (sad). Therefore we hear not four movements but seven (slow-fast; slow-fast; slow-fast; slow). The middle movements, March and Burletta, echo folk character, as do the Burletta’s quarter-tones. The opening ‘motto’ theme is played at first by the viola, and no matter what happens in the first three movements, its pervasive nature overhangs everything. In the finale it becomes the theme of that movement, a set of variations. Its final appearance (on viola, in the last six bars) is of resigned acceptance, not of hopelessness, for that which is accepted at last is a fact of life, upon which quiet resolve the work ends.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1996

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDD22003 disc 2 track 11
Mesto – Burletta: Moderato
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-93-58211
Duration
6'57
Recording date
26 November 1992
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Arthur Johnson
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Bartók: String Quartets (CDA66581/2)
    Disc 2 Track 11
    Release date: June 1993
    Deletion date: September 1996
    2CDs Superseded by CDD22003
  2. Bartók: String Quartets (CDD22003)
    Disc 2 Track 11
    Release date: September 1996
    Deletion date: July 2004
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
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