Roberto Gerhard – Complete String Quartets & Chaconne – Arditti Quartet (2013) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Roberto Gerhard – Complete String Quartets & Chaconne – Arditti Quartet (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:54:19 minutes | 490 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Aeon/Outhere Music France
Recorded: 16-19/5/2011, Sala 4 – Alicia de Larrocha, l’Auditori de Barcelona, Espagna

Born in Catalonia and Arnold Schönberg’s sole Spanish student, Roberto Gerhard is, after Manuel de Falla, the boldest and most brilliant representative of the music of his country. Forced into the exile by the Spanish civil war, he became a British citizen and spend his last years in Cambridge. Although they never met, the connection with the Arditti Quartet seems to have been preordained, as illustrated by this superb recording of what can be considered the composer’s masterworks.

Catalan composer Roberto Gerhard was a student of Arnold Schoenberg and an important innovator of serial procedures in the 1950s, though there are aspects of his music that reflect older practices, including traditional Spanish folk music, Baroque and Classical forms, and some influences of his modern compatriots, Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, and Manuel de Falla. The two numbered string quartets are mature works that incorporate these varied elements, yet cohere perfectly well on their own as wholly integrated personal expressions, without seeming derivative or overtly referential. The Arditti String Quartet performs these pieces with its customary facility and virtuosic brilliance, and violinist Irvine Arditti fills out the remainder of the program with a passionate performance of Gerhard’s Chaconne for solo violin, offering the listener an album just under 55 minutes, which may seem rather short in duration, except for the fact that the music is quite concentrated and intense. The reproduction is clear and vibrant in a highly resonant space, though the strings’ tone isn’t especially warm. -AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson


Roberto Gerhard (1896-1970)

String Quartet No. 2 (1961-1961)
1 I. Lento 1’33
2 II. — 1’33
3 III. — 1’39
4 IV. — 0’32
5 V. — 3’44
6 VI. — 2’24
7 VII. – 2’11

String Quartet No. 1 (1950-1955)
8 Allegro assai 7’18
9 Con vivacitá 2’08
10 Grave 4’46
11 Molto allegro 7’57

Chaconne for Solo Violin (1959)*
12 I. Risoluto 1’21
13 II. Calmo con leggerezza 1’05
14 III. Allegro con fuoco 0’42
15 IV. Allegretto 1’12
16 V. Veloce 1’02
17 VI. Con riposo 2’00
18 VII. Allegro con brio 1’50
19 VIII. Adagietto 2’42
20 IX. Molto vivace, con impeto 1’23
21 X. Andante sostenuto 2’21
22 XI. Grazioso 1’26
23 XII. Allegro assai 1’44

Irvine Arditti*, violin
Ashot Sarkissjan, violin
Ralf Ehlers, viola
Lucas Fels, violoncello