String Quartets by two important musical figures of the late 20th century are here given outstanding interpretations by the Lagos Ensemble.
The two composers featured on this new hybrid SACD, Mauricio Kagel (1931–2008), and Tristan Keuris (1946–1996), both wrote highly varied works of particularly high quality. In their string quartets they use extremes of rhythm, timbre and register, with complete control of emotional and technical elements. Despite these modernist techniques, the music is often tonal and approachable.
Mauricio Kagel was brought up in Argentina, but became a major influence on 20th century music in America and Europe as a composer and teacher. The Dutch composer Tristan Keuris was also a significant musical figure on both sides of the Atlantic, teaching masterclasses, giving lectures, and writing many successful works on commission. An extension of the internationally renowned Lagos Quartet, the Lagos Ensemble performs and records a wide range of chamber music, but is especially acclaimed for its performance of contemporary works.
“Kagel contours melodies that might be folk tunes but it's impossible to tell because he disrupts the harmonic underpinning so fundamentally...The Lagos Ensemble, with guest viola player Kyra Philippi, shepherd Kagel's dispersing fragments into a robust, malleable continuum.”