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Track(s) taken from CDA67999


1905; for string trio; Allegretto

Dante Quartet
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: February 2013
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: February 2014
Total duration: 5 minutes 10 seconds

Cover artwork: In the Park (2008) by Márta Mártonfi-Benke (b1958)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'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)

'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

'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)» More

'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

Kodály initially turned to Vienna for his musical guidance, namely the examples of the Classical masters and of Brahms. His Academy classmate Erno Dohnányi, who adopted the Germanic moniker of Ernst von Dohnányi, continued in that Brahmsian fashion. Kodály, on the hand, gradually began to assimilate the language that was the focus of his musicological work. Its presence is already palpable in his 1905 Intermezzo for string trio. A swaying accompaniment, with contrasting arco (bowed) and pizzicato (plucked) textures, and the filigree elements within the melodic line certainly evoke Kodály’s birthplace. More beguiling is the eerily hushed middle section, prophetic of the modal lyricism of his later works and even of Bartók’s ‘night music’ style. Yet despite these qualities, this charming Intermezzo keeps its harmonic footing firmly on the Austro-German side of the border.

from notes by Gavin Plumley © 2014

Ce ne fut d’abord pas vers la Hongrie profonde mais vers Vienne que Kodály se tourna pour trouver son orientation musicale—vers les maîtres classiques et Brahms. Mais contrairement à son condisciple à l’Académie Erno Dohnányi (qui germanisa d’ailleurs son nom en Ernst von Dohnányi), Kodály se détacha de cette mode brahmsienne et assimila lentement la langue qui était au centre de son travail musicologique. Cette assimilation est déjà palpable dans l’Intermezzo pour trio à cordes de 1905, dont l’accompagnement oscillant, avec des textures contrastées entre arco (à archet) et pizzicato, et les éléments disposés en filigrane dans la ligne mélodique évoquent assurément le lieu de naissance de Kodály. Davantage séduisante, la section centrale, sinistrement assourdie, prophétise le lyrisme modal de ses œuvres plus tardives, voire le style «musique de nuit» bartókien. Des qualités qui n’empêchent pas ce charmant Intermezzo de demeurer harmoniquement bien ancré du côté austro-allemand de la frontière.

extrait des notes rédigées par Gavin Plumley © 2014
Français: Hypérion

Kodály suchte musikalische Anleitung zunächst in Wien, nämlich bei den klassischen Meistern und bei Brahms, und nicht im Herzen Ungarns. Einer seiner Kommilitonen an der Akademie, Erno Dohnányi, der später seinen Namen eindeutschte und sich Ernst von Dohnányi nannte, führte jene Brahms’sche Tradition fort. Kódaly jedoch gliederte die Klangsprache, die im Mittelpunkt seiner musikwissenschaftlichen Arbeit stand, nach und nach in sein eigenes Werk ein. Spürbar wird dies bereits in seinem Intermezzo von 1905 für Streichtrio—eine wiegende Begleitung mit sowohl gestrichenen als auch gezupften Streichertexturen und die filigranen Elemente innerhalb der melodischen Linie spielen deutlich auf Kodálys Heimat an. Noch faszinierender ist der unheimliche, gedämpfte Mittelteil, der die modale Lyrik seiner späteren Werke und sogar den „Nachtmusik-Stil“ Bartóks vorwegnimmt. Trotz dieser Eigenschaften ist dieses reizende Intermezzo in harmonischer Hinsicht noch fest in der österreichisch-deutschen Tradition verwurzelt.

aus dem Begleittext von Gavin Plumley © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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