Arditti Quartet – “Hans Abrahamsen: String Quartets No.1-4” (WINTER & WINTER, 2017)

“Hans Abrahamsen: String Quartets No.1-4” is a new album released by “WINTER & WINTER” recording company this year. Hans Abrahamsen is a Danish composer. Through the many years of creative activity he had created original and modern composing style. His composing style is a synthesis of many various modern music styles – atonality, serialism, academic avant-garde and Romantism music. His music is a combination of various extended playing techniques – through the years he had tried out many different ways of playing, especially concentrated on string instruments. Unusual and extraordinary sounds also are the main element of his compositions. The main part of Hans Abrahamsen music is dedicated from various chamber ensembles, strings, solo compositions for piano and other instruments. His music is evocative, extraordinary and expressive. Album compositions were recorded by one of the most famous string quartet in the world – “Arditti Quartet”.

This album compositions have original and essential sound. Four string quartets – “String quartet No.1”, “String Quartet No.2”, “String Quartet No.3” and “String Quartet No.4” have their own and unique sound. “String Quartet No.1” consists of 10 preludes. Each of them are based on different musical expressions and writing techniques. These short compositions are highly contrasting with each other and make an essential sound. Extraordinary instrumentation, extended playing techniques, puantilism, atonal music and many other contemporary academical music techniques are mixed together in one musical pattern. The form and structure of these short preludes is free and not strictly based. There are many elements of different traditional forms which are synthesized in one composition. The music of this quartet has extraordinary, expressive and very contrastic sound.

“Quartet No.2″, String Quartet No.3” and “String Quartet No.4” are based on similar musical decisions as the first one. Minimalism and post-minimalism elements,  electronic music sounds, atonality and wide range of string playing techniques are the main basement of these compositions. Peaceful cello and contrabass solos, dramatic violin melodies, virtuosic arpeggios, pizzicato, glissando and other traditional string instruments playing techniques are combined with new and innovative ways of playing. This pretty high variety of playing techniques leads to wide range of different sounds, separate timbres and colorful sound. The harmony of the compositions is full of dissonances – sharp chords mixed with dramatic melodies in some episodes create aggresive or even provocative mood. These episodes are put against soft and silent cello and contrabass solos. The composer Hans Abrahammsen mastefully and essentially try out and synthesize absolutely different playiing techniques, innovative instrumentation, colorful harmony, dynamic rhythmic, writing techniques, musical expressions and create original and interesting compositions.


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