HILDA PAREDES (b.1957): Cuerdas del destino for String Quartet, In Memoriam Thomas Kakuska for Solo Violin), Canciones lunáticas for Countertenor and String Quartet, Papalote for Treble Voice and Violin and for Treble Voice and String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 03Q076
Reference: AECD 15439
Description: 'Strings of Destiny' is Paredes' second quartet, a single span approaching twenty minutes duration. The composer's range of sonic imagery is quite extraordinary, with a notable fondness for extreme high registers and harmonics, transitioning into the most subtle breath sounds and whispering noise textures. In general, textures are fragile, precisely etched in quarter-tones, delicate saltando tapping and bouncing of bow on string, a narrative told in enigmatic fragments of meaning. The addition of a text, especially one as vivid as Pedro Serrano's poetry of madness and the moon, enhances the sense of imagery still further, conjuring moonlit landscapes of the most subtle gradations of light and shade. The already otherworldly countertenor voice matches the whispering, ethereal string sounds in sotto voce vocal tics and leaps, punctuating a lyrical but eerie declamation of the poems. The extended violin solo in memory of the viola player of the Alban Berg Quartet is more linear, a portrait drawn in stronger lines of melody and ornamentation, making ample use of advanced (not especially extended) playing techniques. Papalote - 'kite' - is presented in two versions. More straightforwardly melodic, and avoiding micro-intervals, it was written for the present performer as a boy treble. It shares many features with the far more advanced Canciones, with similarly exquisite word-painting and delicate instrumental textures. Spanish-English texts. Jake Arditti (countertenor), Arditti Quartet.