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György Ligeti’s choral and orchestral music hit the mainstream when it was featured in the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but his equally remarkable chamber works remain less well known.
While indebted to his compatriot Bartók for its folk-inflected passages, Ligeti’s First Quartet, subtitled Métamorphoses nocturnes, is nonetheless a work of striking originality.
The Second Quartet, composed around fifteen years later, abounds in contrasts between glacial stillness and manic activity, mechanistic pizzicatos and gentle oscillations.
His early Andante and Allegro is richly expressive and easily accessible.
“The Parker Quartet is equally persuasive at both extremes… in Ligeti’s two full-fledged quartets, these musicians brought considerable warmth and richness of tone to sweetly accented themes and gentle chordal writing, and unbridled textural brashness to the more volatile passages.” The New York Times
Tempo di valse, moderato, con eleganza, un poco capriccioso - Allegretto, un poco gioviale
Subito allegro con moto - Prestissimo
Gyorgy Ligeti: String Quartet No. 2
I. Allegro nervoso
II. Sostenuto, molto calmo
III. Come un meccanismo di precisione
IV. Presto furioso, brutale, tumultuoso
V. Allegro con delicatezza
Gyorgy Ligeti: Andante and Allegretto
Allegretto poco capriccioso
“Here is another relatively new quartet plunging into the recording fray with 'high-end' repertory and reaping the rewards of their apparent fearlessness...the recordings have the conviction and character of single takes...The Parkers...make one eager to hear more contemporary repertoire from them”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.