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Saygun: Complete String Quartets / Quatuor Danel


Release Date: 03/21/2006 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 999923   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Performer:  Gilles MilletMarc DanelTony NysGuy Danel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danel Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 42 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Having surveyed Ahmed Adnan Saygun's symphonies, CPO turns to the 20th-century Turkish master's four string quartets. The "wonderfully evocative folk melos" my colleague David Hurwitz referred to in the symphonies organically interfaces with Saygun's terse chromatic language and perennially fresh string textures. The first two quartets (from 1947 and 1958) stand out on account of their expressive breadth and communicative immediacy. I love the First Quartet's Adagio, with its long, overlapping legato lines that are anchored by the gentlest pizzicato pokes. The Allegretto is a minuet whose sweet sadness is conveyed by the string writing's remarkable delicacy and refinement.

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Saygun's palette had toughened up by the time of the Second Quartet, with its neo-Bartókian col legno effects and petulant trills that penetrate like hornet stings. The finale might be described as a portrait of churning dissonant chords, book-ended by slow, rhapsodic episodes.


CPO's annotator Patricia Gläfcke barely disguises her ambiguity about the Third Quartet's use of repetition, and I'll admit that the first two movements reveal Saygun's style in a starker, more foreboding manner that's not easy to love. Although Saygun did not live to finish his Fourth and final quartet, the surviving two movements hint at a new playfulness in his writing, borne out by the Animato's scampering repartee, sudden silences, and unpredictable thematic turns (zoom in on three minutes into the movement and you'll hear what I'm describing).


The Quatuor Danel takes great pains not only to play accurately, but also to find the most suitable colors, vibratos, bowings, and articulations. Listen to how gorgeously the players contour Saygun's frequent unison melodies, and notice the technical ease and expressive richness that informs rapid chromatic passages, or the effortless control and tonal balance the Danels bring to the Third Quartet's sustained, chorale-like sequences in the first movement. Tempos are judged to perfection; in fact, I prefer the Danel Quartet's quicker pace and airy finesse in the aforementioned First Quartet Adagio to the slower, less fluid Anatolian Quartet on Hungaroton. Listeners in search of overlooked yet significant 20th-century string quartet fare in world-class performances should seriously consider this splendidly engineered co-production with West German Radio. [4/7/2006]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 1, Op. 27 by Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Performer:  Gilles Millet (Violin), Marc Danel (Violin), Tony Nys (Viola),
Guy Danel (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danel Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Turkey 
Length: 29 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (12/01/2003 - 12/04/2003); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (09/20/2004 - 09/22/2004); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (11/19/2004) 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 2 Op. 35 by Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Performer:  Gilles Millet (Violin), Guy Danel (Cello), Tony Nys (Viola),
Marc Danel (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danel Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Turkey 
Length: 30 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (12/01/2003 - 12/04/2003); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (09/20/2004 - 09/22/2004); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (11/19/2004) 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 3 Op. 43 by Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Performer:  Gilles Millet (Violin), Guy Danel (Cello), Tony Nys (Viola),
Marc Danel (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danel Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; Turkey 
Length: 29 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (12/01/2003 - 12/04/2003); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (09/20/2004 - 09/22/2004); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (11/19/2004) 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 4 Op. 77 [fragment] by Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Performer:  Guy Danel (Cello), Tony Nys (Viola), Gilles Millet (Violin),
Marc Danel (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danel Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Turkey 
Length: 12 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (12/01/2003 - 12/04/2003); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (09/20/2004 - 09/22/2004); Stolberger Strasse Studio, Köln, Germany (11/19/2004) 

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