Episode #15

Listen: Amphion String Quartet Premieres Einojuhani Rautavaara

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Einojuhani Rautavaara (Sakari Viika/Ondine Records/NPR)

On Apr. 10, 2014, the Amphion String Quartet and cellist Nicolas Altstaedt gave the world premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara's Variations for Five, Quintet No. 2 in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress. 

In the program note from the perforamance, Rautavaara writes that he chose to write for two violins, viola and two cellos because this was the orchestration of his first String Quintet, and he wanted to revisit the, "rich, deep sound of this ensemble again."

This on-demand music is part of a new partnership between Q2 Music and Concerts from the Library of Congress to share works that the Library of Congress either commissioned or presented as world or US premieres dating back to the 2009-2010 season.

Comments [2]

James from Boston

Is anyone else distressed by the ever heavier habitual portato in modern string playing? The beginning of the Amphion Quartet's recording of Rautavarra's Quintet seems to take this upsetting modern affectation to an even greater degree, with each note getting its own individual expression at the cost of what could be a ravishingly long melodic line. They might as well be playing a separate bow for each note the way the hyperventilating bow wah wahs its way from note to note. <> <> <> <>. I yearn for a long line with several notes played without the separate nudge of the bow, like a billiard ball being pushed laboriously through a garden hose. It's beginning to make its way into some wind playing now, oboes in particular.

May. 27 2015 06:12 PM
Carolyn from NYC

Fine piece of music and performance. Rautavaara's "Angels and Visitations" is one of the most frightening pieces of music I have ever heard....I really don't have words to describe it. But it certainly is a unique experience to listen to it....probably not alone! Somehow or other, it makes musical sense to me...don't ask me why!

May. 26 2015 12:54 PM

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