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Rihm: String Quartets No 1, 4, 8 & 5 / Doelen Quartet


Release Date: 09/05/2006 
Label:  Cybele   Catalog #: 261101   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Rihm
Performer:  Frank de GrootKarin DolmanHans WoudenbergLaurens Van Vliet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Doelen Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Okay, so it's not "easy listening". These four quartets actually cover a very wide expressive range. The brief (nine minutes) First Quartet actually is the toughest nut, being the most heavily indebted to the Second Viennese School in its relentlessly busy textures and in its avoidance of anything like traditional melody. But the Fourth Quartet, in three movements, is another matter altogether. Here the modern school rubs shoulders with the likes of Bartók and, of all people, Janácek. Its second movement not only shares the Czech composer's favorite tempo designation ("con moto"), but it uses those same
Read more propulsive ostinatos in support of surprisingly passionate emotional outbursts.

So while the idiom obviously is more difficult than Janácek's, and there isn't a shred of folk influence, there's more than enough that will be familiar to most quartet fanciers to let them follow the music's course. This, combined with a return to occasional melody and consonant harmony, makes for very compelling listening.

The Fifth and Eighth Quartets follow much the same course, with varying degrees of purely textural sound effects thrown in as well. I have to confess that based on the First Quartet alone I rather dreaded the prospect of hearing the other three, but this initial impression turned out to be mistaken. In any case, the performances are stunning. The Doelenkwartet plays with dead-accurate intonation, fine ensemble balance, and real beauty of tone, even when the music seems not to care. Cybele's sonics in all formats are state-of-the art. This was, if not exactly a "pleasant" surprise, a very impressive and powerful one.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Quartet for Strings no 1, Op. 2 by Wolfgang Rihm
Performer:  Frank de Groot (Violin), Karin Dolman (Viola), Hans Woudenberg (Cello),
Laurens Van Vliet (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Doelen Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; Germany 
Venue:  Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland 
Length: 9 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland (05/02/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
2. Quartet for Strings no 4 by Wolfgang Rihm
Performer:  Karin Dolman (Viola), Laurens Van Vliet (Violin), Hans Woudenberg (Cello),
Frank de Groot (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Doelen Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981; Germany 
Venue:  Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland 
Length: 19 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland (05/02/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
3. Quartet for Strings no 8 by Wolfgang Rihm
Performer:  Frank de Groot (Violin), Hans Woudenberg (Cello), Karin Dolman (Viola),
Laurens Van Vliet (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Doelen Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; Germany 
Venue:  Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland 
Length: 15 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland (05/02/2005 - 06/30/2005) 
4. Quartet for Strings no 5 "Ohne titel" by Wolfgang Rihm
Performer:  Hans Woudenberg (Cello), Frank de Groot (Violin), Laurens Van Vliet (Violin),
Karin Dolman (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Doelen Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; Germany 
Venue:  Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland 
Length: 26 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Old Catholic Church, Delft, Holland (05/02/2005 - 06/30/2005) 

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