String Quartet 2.0

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Monday, October 18, 2010

As far back as I can recall, the string quartet has resonated with me on an almost spiritual level, and I really do mean as far back as I can remember. When I was old enough and accomplished enough to participate in performing string quartets, well, that's when casual flirtation morphed into full-on obsession.

Schubert's Death and the Maiden was the soundtrack to summers from age 8-11, followed by a mind-altering discovery of late Beethoven, quasi-psychotic Bartok fangirlism, and Justin Bieber-like tween devotion to the chamber music output of Benjamin Britten.

This week, I'm revisiting my first love: the string quartet. The 21st century has brought some wonderful, innovative, savory takes on this genre, and I'll be packing a lot of musical marrow into these shows. Q2 is also starting something pretty exciting this week, from an on-demand standpoint; the first hour of Mondays' shows from now on will be theme-heavy and archived right here on its show page, yay! 

I hope you enjoy the quartets, and let me know what you want to hear! Do you have a favorite 21st century or late 20th century string quartet?

Here's an excerpt of and from a quartet I'm excited about: The Chiara String Quartet performing the second movement of Jefferson Friedman's String Quartet No. 2. Enjoy!

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Comments [9]

The quasipsychotic fanship for Bartok is understandable. Bartok broke Beethoven's
paradigma for strring quartets which had begun feeling too narrow and heavy. Debussy and Ravel wrote only one string quartet each, then fleed the genre because they were not able to get beyond Beethoven. But Bartok broke the paradigme and has influenced every good string quartet since then. Out of Bartok's 6 string quartets the 3 (Nos 3, 4 and 5) are of the utmost importance. - My recomendation here:
Alfred Schnittke; String Quartet No. 2.
Schnittke is a major composer, but it does not seem to me that he is very well known and listenet to in America

Dec. 18 2010 06:17 PM

Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys! (still looking for that Malipiero...) Start brainstorming about creepy pieces for next week's pre-Halloween New Music Fright Fest!

Oct. 22 2010 12:48 PM

I am lovin this piece Hidden Voices! Is there any way I can get a playlist as a file? Thanks!

Oct. 21 2010 02:36 PM

I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying your show! It is about time avant garde music was showcase. I LOVE IT! Please do not stop. :)

Oct. 20 2010 04:03 PM

I'm enjoying this week's contemporary string quartets. You asked what else we'd like to hear, so here's my tuppence: I'd like to hear more about how contemporary choral composers riff on Byrd, Tallis, Monteverdi and other early guys. It's not a new topic, but it's one I don't think I'll ever tire of.

Oct. 19 2010 02:12 PM
Gary Weismer from Madison, WI

I hosted a chamber music show in Madison, WI from 1996-2003 on WORT-FM (89.9), and played many 20th century quartets on the show. I got a hugely positive response from G. Malipiero's 8-quartet cycle, which are among my favorites in the quartet literature. It's not new stuff, but its outstanding; I enjoy your programming.

Oct. 19 2010 01:11 PM

Sorry to keep yakking here, but I just have to say you are truly kicking new-music butt on this show today, Sirota, between Kalhor and Bjarnason and Adams (as in John Luther) and Lerdahl. Silent City and The Immeasurable Space of Tones are pretty well heart-stopping all by themselves. What a great, great show today. Thanks!

Oct. 18 2010 03:54 PM
Alan Oser from Staten Island N.Y.

I have a particular interest in hearing quartets, quintets and sextets by living foreign composers.

Oct. 18 2010 02:21 PM

Super theme, and great to have you back with a new week of music, Nadia! Glad the Ives #2 is on, such an important one (especially to us preachers' kids). Wouldn't mind hearing György Ligeti's String Quartet #1 (Metamorphosis Nocturnes) in the mix.

Oct. 18 2010 02:11 PM

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