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Bartok & Kodaly: The Complete String Quartets

Bartok / Alexander String Quartet
Release Date: 10/08/2013 
Label:  Foghorn Classics   Catalog #: 2009   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Béla BartókZoltán Kodály
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 26 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If the San Francisco-based Alexander String Quartet had only put the six Bartók quartets on their latest release, it might have slipped my notice. That despite a sweetly lyrical Bartók (with a particular fluid take of the Third and a Fifth bent on lyricism), because there’s simply too much competition out there, in all various shades of interpretative excellence. But the Alexander String Quartet must have known that Bartók-excellence alone might not suffice to make a dent and added a game-changing kicker in the form of Zoltan Kodály’s two rare, under-recorded, absolutely gorgeous quartets, works very closely linked to the accompanying Bartok.

Kodály’s style suits the Alexander String
Read more Quartet’s penchant for near-symphonic beauty, but Kodály’s conciliatory air should not be mistaken for tonal timidity: plucky pizzicato passages, delightful-doleful dissonances, and atmospheric allusions are all present, as is a wildly charming Variations-and-Theme movement for a finale (actually authored by and credited to Kodály’s wife) in the first quartet. The set’s a winner, whether you think of the Kodály as a bonus CD or indeed the main reason for purchase, with Bartók thrown in.

– Jens F. Laurson (Fortune) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in A minor, Op. 7/Sz 40 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; Budapest, Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 28 Minutes 16 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 3, Sz 85 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Budapest, Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 9 Minutes 49 Secs. 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 5, Sz 102 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; Budapest, Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 30 Minutes 36 Secs. 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 17 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1917; Budapest, Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 25 Minutes 1 Secs. 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 4, Sz 91 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Budapest, Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 22 Minutes 15 Secs. 
6.
Quartet for Strings no 6, Sz 114 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Budapest, Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 27 Minutes 8 Secs. 
7.
Quartet for Strings no 1, Op. 2 by Zoltán Kodály
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1909; Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 37 Minutes 27 Secs. 
8.
Quartet for Strings no 2, Op. 10 by Zoltán Kodály
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alexander String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1918; Hungary 
Venue:  St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Belveder 
Length: 16 Minutes 20 Secs. 

Sound Samples

String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7, Sz. 40: I. Lento
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7, Sz. 40: II. Allegretto
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7, Sz. 40: III. Introduzione: Allegro
String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85: Prima parte: Moderato -
String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85: Seconda parte: Allegro -
String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85: Ricapitulazione della prima parte: Moderato - Coda: Allegro molto
String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102: I. Allegro
String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102: II. Adagio molto
String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102: III. Scherzo. Alla bulgarese (Vivace)
String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102: IV. Andante
String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102: V. Finale: Allegro vivace
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, Sz. 67: I. Moderato
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, Sz. 67: II. Allegro molto capriccioso
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, Sz. 67: III. Lento
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91: I. Allegro
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91: II. Prestissimo, con sordino
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91: III. Non troppo lento
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91: IV. Allegretto pizzicato
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91: V. Allegro molto
String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114: I. Mesto - Piu mosso, pesante - Vivace
String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114: II. Mesto - Marcia
String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114: III. Mesto - Burletta: Moderato
String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114: IV. Mesto

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