Hyperion Records

String Quartet No 3 'Leaves of an unwritten diary'
composer
2008; first performed in Warsaw by the Shanghai Quartet in 2008

Recordings
'Penderecki & Lutosławski: String Quartets' (CDA67943)
Penderecki & Lutosławski: String Quartets
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50 CDA67943  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Hyperion monthly sampler – March 2013' (HYP201303)
Hyperion monthly sampler – March 2013
HYP201303  Download-only monthly sampler   No longer available
Details
Track 3 on CDA67943 [19'04]
Track 3 on HYP201303 [19'04] Download-only monthly sampler

String Quartet No 3 'Leaves of an unwritten diary'
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In 2008 Penderecki completed his String Quartet No 3, ‘Leaves of an unwritten diary’. It was premiered in Warsaw that same year, on the composer’s seventy-fifth birthday, by the Shanghai Quartet.

With its opening E flat minor triad, against which the viola (one of his favourite instruments) unfolds a melody, the third string quartet belongs in a completely different world than that of its predecessor forty years earlier. It provides a retrospective if not sentimental glance at his preoccupations over this period. There is the halting, sometimes grotesque waltz based on a repeated minor third. There are also passages where his sonoristic heterophony seems to have been recast in diatonic terms. There is even, in the latter stages, a recollection of a gypsy violin tune that apparently his father played to him in his childhood. Above all, the third string quartet, despite a clear recapitulation of the minor-third waltz section, bears the hallmark of the composer’s restless switching from one idea or tempo to the next. Penderecki’s three string quartets therefore have more in common than might at first appear, and they embody the concept that an artist may change style but not character.

from notes by Adrian Thomas © 2013

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