JOACHIM MENDELSON (1897-1943): String Quartet No. 1, SIMON LAKS (1901-1983): String Quartet No. 5, ROMAN PADLEWSKI (1915-1944): String Quartet No. 2.
Catalogue Number: 01M055
Description: This third volume of "Poland Abroad" brings two first recordings of music by yet more Polish Jewish victims of the Nazis. Mendelson's quartet dates from around 1925 and, in its dance-like, modal melodies of Slavic color, elegance, refinement and charm, falls easily into the Gallic neo-classicism of Simon Laks's pre-war music. Mendelson was murdered in the Warsaw Ghetto. Padlewski, younger, was shot while trying to disarm a German remote-controlled Goliath mine during the Warsaw Uprising. His quartet (1940-42 and smuggled out of Warsaw to London on microfilm) is a strikingly monolithic and austere toccata and fugue of almost half an hour which masterfully interweaves seeming improvisation with strict counterpoint while also seeming to barely conceal a hidden, personal drama. Laks' is a late work, from 1963, and, while outwardly maintaining a neo-classical form, his lyricism is much more austere, themes are abandoned in favor of intervals as working material and a lot of chromaticism is employed. Silesian String Quartet.