Vilnius String Quartet – Jurgis Karnavičius: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:16:19 minutes | 1,38 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Ondine
This new release by the Vilnius String Quartet presents two exciting gems in 20th century chamber music: the first two String Quartets by Lithuanian composer Jurgis Karnavičius (1884–1941) as world premiere recordings.
Karnavičius made significant contributions to the cultural life in Lithuania after returning to his home country in the late 1920s. Karnavičius had been a pupil Maximilian Steinberg at the St. Peterburg Conservatory later becoming a professor in the same institution. During his years in St. Petersburg the composer wrote four impressive String Quartets, filling the chronological and stylistic gap between the String Quartets of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.
Karnavičius’ String Quartet No. 1 was published by Belaieff after the composer graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Its folkloristic elements bring to mind the Quartets of Dvořák. Karnavičius’ Second Quartet, was written in captivity a few years later: during World War I he fell into German captivity and until 1918 lived in a prison camp at Josefstadt, near Vienna. This work already shows first signs of a shift towards Expressionism. Karnavičius’ vocabulary was quite unique in the Lithuanian context and did not beget following, so for a long time Karnavičius remained “a stranger at home and at home among strangers”. Although, the composer’s work has been admired in Lithuania, these magnificent 20th century chamber music opuses have been performed extremely rarely after his death. Yet, these pieces reveal compositional mastery and aesthetic subtlety.
1. String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 1: I. Allegro moderato (11:00)
2. String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 1: II. Allegro – Moderato – Allegro (07:08)
3. String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 1: III. Andante – Poco più mosso – Moderato – Poco più lento (08:47)
4. String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 1: IV. Allegro (07:47)
5. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 6: I. Molto moderato – Allegro moderato (12:45)
6. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 6: II. Allegretto – Sostenuto – Allegretto (10:03)
7. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 6: III. Andante (10:42)
8. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 6: IV. Allegro (08:07)