WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): String Quartets No. 1, Op. 2 and Nos. 4, 5 and 8 "ohne titel".
Catalogue Number: 09K094
Description: The first quartet is an early work, from 1970, in which Rihm's individual voice may not be fully formed and which owes a great deal to the Second Viennese School in its harmonic orientation, but on its own terms it is a powerful and cogent work. The fourth is from a decade later, and confronts tradition abruptly, with clear echoes of classical (especially Beethoven) and Romantic antecedents, juxtaposed with elements of his next compositional phase. These are more pronounced in the other quartets, the latter especially incorporating noise effects and theatrical gestures of Rihm's most experimental phase, though there is always a sense of forward flow and progression even when all sense of tonal reference is abandoned. A feeling of inevitability of direction even in music of the utmost abstraction has always been one of Rihm's most remarkable achievements, demonstrated to great effect in these most intimate and personal works. Doelen Quartet. SACD hybrid.