Hyperion Records

Four Madrigals
composer
1937

Recordings
'Martinů: Chamber Music' (CDD22039)
Martinů: Chamber Music
Buy by post £5.25 CDD22039  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) Please, someone, buy me …  
Details
No 1: Allegro moderato
Track 6 on CDD22039 CD1 [3'59] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) Please, someone, buy me …
No 2: Lento
Track 7 on CDD22039 CD1 [4'02] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) Please, someone, buy me …
No 3: Poco allegretto – Trio: Allegro
Track 8 on CDD22039 CD1 [5'09] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) Please, someone, buy me …
No 4: Poco allegro
Track 9 on CDD22039 CD1 [5'32] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) Please, someone, buy me …

Four Madrigals
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The set of Four Madrigals for oboe, clarinet and bassoon was composed in Nice for the Trio d’Anches. This was the first time Martinu used the title. The introspective mood of Julietta is evident in the restrained character of each of the four pieces, and particularly discernible in the slow second. The Czech inflections are less pronounced but are detectable in the shape of the melodies.

As has been suggested, it was the linear independence of the madrigal that appealed most to Martinu, and in these four pieces it is exploited to the full. There are passages of imitation, but for the most part the three instruments pursue their own ways towards a conclusion, striking against each other and producing angularities of harmony that recall Stravinsky or, more consistently, the calculated spikiness of Honegger, a composer for whom Martinu entertained the greatest admiration. In spite of the ‘modernities’, however, the music is graceful, cool, and elegantly fashioned throughout.

from notes by Kenneth Dommett & Robert Matthew-Walker © 1998

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