Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Chamber music from an important new musical voice


Andrea Tarrodi: String Quartets

At the end of August 2017 an important work by the young (b. 1981) Swedish composer Andrea Tarrodi will be played at the BBC Proms, by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Sakari Oramo. I'm looking forward to hearing that, but in the meantime I'm very much enjoying this album of chamber music by an important new musical voice from Scandinavia.

Folk music is very much in evidence here; both from Northern Europe and Hungary (Tarrodi's heritage is a mixture of Swedish and Hungarian). The folk tradition, of course, is an important part of string quartets going back to Haydn, and Tarrodi's works bring to mind in turn the often folk-inspired music of the Swede Wilhelm Stenhammar and the Hungarian Bela Bartok (each of whom wrote six string quartets). I also detected the influence of the Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz, who happened to write seven quartets. This is complex but accessible music, often with a timeless feel and a sense of organic development building to ecstatic climaxes. It's beautifully presented by the Dahlkvist Quartet, a group of three Swedish siblings and a Polish first violinist. This album will be released on September 1, 2017.

Here's the Dahlkvist Quartet playing Madárda, the 2nd Quartet, an impressive work!

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