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Track(s) taken from CDA67999

String Quartet No 2, Op 10

1916/18; dedicated to the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet

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: 17 minutes 31 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

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

Après le succès de son Quatuor à cordes nº 1, lors de son premier concert public en tant que compositeur, le 17 mars 1910, Kodály écrivit son Quatuor à cordes nº 2 op.10 entre 1916 et 1918, alors que les hostilités le tenaient éloigné de ses recherches de terrain. Il le dédia au Quatuor Waldbauer-Kerpely, qui avait assuré la création du Quatuor nº 1 et celle, hongroise, de son modèle, le Quatuor de Debussy. L’influence debussyste s’entend d’ailleurs encore dans les harmonies pentatoniques du Quatuor nº 2, aux sonorités pourtant toujours plus magyares. D’abord introspectif, l’Allegro inaugural oppose à une dissonance enlevée des passages davantage élégiaques. La musique est, là aussi, discursive, malgré une tonalité désormais plus libre. Des rythmes de danse tentent paisiblement de s’affirmer dans l’Andante, même s’ils sont coincés par des tons plus languissants. Finalement, cette énergie est libérée par un coup en pizzicato, au début du dernier mouvement, et par un échange désordonné de matériau thématique. Passé une pause indue, avec des glissandi déstabilisants, Kodály termine par une coda débridée.

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

Nach dem Erfolg des Ersten Streichquartetts, das zu Kodálys erstem öffentlichen Konzert als Komponist am 17. März 1910 aufgeführt wurde, schrieb er sein Streichquartett Nr. 2 op. 10 zwischen 1916 und 1918, als er aufgrund des Kriegs keine Feldforschung betreiben konnte. Das Stück wurde dem Waldbauer-Kerpely-Quartett gewidmet, das bereits das Vorgängerwerk uraufgeführt und die erste ungarische Aufführung des Quartetts von Debussy (welches Kodály als Vorbild gedient hatte) gegeben hatte. Debussys Einfluss ist noch innerhalb der pentatonischen Harmonien des Zweiten Quartetts zu hören, obwohl sich hier die magyar nóta Klänge noch stärker äußern. Der erste Satz, Allegro, ist zunächst beschaulich; später werden Kontraste zwischen raschen Dissonanzen und eher elegischen Passagen erzeugt. Auch hier ist die Musik recht weitschweifig komponiert, obwohl eine freiere Ausführungsart vorherrscht. Im Andante versuchen sich die Tanzrhythmen in ruhiger Art und Weise durchzusetzen, doch werden sie durch sehnsuchtsvolle Klänge unterdrückt. Schließlich entlädt sich diese Energie mit einem Pizzicato-Ruck zu Beginn des Finales und in einem großen Durcheinander, wo thematisches Material umherwirbelt. Nach einer unheimlichen Pause mit destabilisierenden Glissandi endet Kodály mit einer wilden Coda.

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

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