Friday, October 18, 2013

The Szymanowski Quartet in the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan het IJ. Setlist...!

On October 5th 2013, the Polish Szymanowski Quartet gave a concert in the Amsterdam "Muziekgebouw aan het IJ". The spectacular looking Muziekgebouw is the second concert hall in the Dutch capital, nearby the Amsterdam Central railwaystation (opposed to the "harder to find" south-side Concertgebouw). As a preperation to that concert, I made a Spotify list of all the works played there. The focus of that concert were 20th century works (or arrangements) for string quartet, by Polish composers.
This was the setlist:

Karol Szymanowski String quartet nr. 2 (1927)
Witold Lutoslawski String quartet (1965)
Krzysztof Penderecki String quartet nr. 3 (2008)
Mieczysław Weinberg String quartet nr. 13 (1976)
Karol Szymanowski Nocturne and Tarantella (arr. originally 1915)
The Szymanowski Quartet itself only recorded the arrangement of the Nocturne and Tarantella, so I had find other recordings for the different works played on the concert. 
Szymanowksi's second quartet is more raw and folky than his first quartet en the Goldner Quartet express that "edge" in their Naxos recording. 
Lutoslawski made his score aleatoric and the classic La Salle Quartet recording still has the sense of *discovery* attached to the work. 
Penderecki's third quartet is a far cry from his earlier sound explorations (or explosions, to my ear :-) from the 1960's. "New Spirituality" is now the credo... The string quartet is nicknamed "Leaves of an unwritten diary" and the Apollon Musagete Quartet make the most of it, I think...
Mieczysław Weinberg worked most of his life in the Soviet Union, but was born and breed in Poland. His op 118 quartet was written in 1976 and can be seen as a lamento for his collegue Dimitri Shostakovich. The recording is part of the complete cycle on CPO by the Quartor Danel. 
Finally Karol Szymanowski op 28 Nocturne and Tarantella by is played here in an arrangement the Szymanowski Quartet made themselves. A smashing throw out at the end of the concert...! As a bonus, here is a link where you can hear Szymanowski play two of his own Mazurka's, recorded for the Polish radio, 1935. 
Hope you will enjoy this program of not-too-familiar works.

(one hour and twenty minutes playing time)

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