OLIVIER GREIF (1950-2000): String Quartet No. 4 "Ulysses".
Catalogue Number: 05I086
Reference: TRI 331122
Description: This one of Greif's last works, a somewhat enigmatic and pessimistic one. Taking its title and some aspects of its dramatic content from Joyce's novel, the work is uncompromising in its intense emotional content. The second movement strongly recalls the slow and slower movements of Shostakovich's late quartets, and elsewhere, bitterly ironic music also suggests Shostakovich in sardonic scherzo mode; in one movement Greif even quotes the DSCH motif. Elsewhere we hear Baroque dance forms, plainchant and pentatonic modes, all refracted through the distorting, darkened glass of Greif's personal vision. T he work is ingeniously structured with cyclic elements and internal references as well as allusions to other works of the composer (including the Chants de l'âme, see above), producing a powerful narrative work of greater scope than even attempted in all but the greatest chamber compositions in music history. Ensemble Syntonia.