"

VISIT WESTCORKMUSIC.IE

LATEST ADDITION TO THE ARCHIVE

String Quartet in G minor Op.27

Edvard Grieg (b. 1843 - d. 1907)

Borusan Quartet

Borusan Quartet

Composer
Edvard Grieg (b. 1843 - d. 1907)
Composition Year
1877-8
Work Movements
1. Un poco andante – Allegro molto ed agitato
2. Romanze – Andantino
3. Intermezzo – Allegro molto marcato
4. Finale – Lento – Presto al saltarello
Artists
Borusan Quartet (Esen Kıvrak, Olgu Kızılay [violins], Efdal Altun [viola], Cağ Ercağ, [cello]) [quartet]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

I have recently finished a string quartet that I still haven't heard. It is in G minor and is not intended to bring trivialities to market. It strives towards breadth, soaring flight and above all resonance for the instruments for which it is written. I needed to do this as a study. Now I shall tackle another piece of chamber music; I think in that way I shall find myself again. You can have no idea what trouble I had with the forms, but this because I was stagnating, and this in turn was in part on account of a number of occasional works (Peer Gynt, Sigurd Jorsalfar and other horrors) and in part on account of too much popularity. I have thought of saying 'Farewell shadows' to all of this - if it can be done.

Despite his classically based studies in Leipzig and Copenhagen, Grieg had early become an enthusiastic adherent to the cause of Norwegian romantic nationalism. He also developed a life-long interest in Norwegian folk tunes and an ever-growing love of his country's wild, mountainous scenery. The Quartet was written during a prolonged stay in the Hardanger district where both the mountains themselves and their music became key influences in his composition.

There are few quartets with the sheer sonic power of Grieg's Quartet, a power that makes itself felt immediately as the work's defining motto theme is announced in unison in the slow introduction. This distinctive idea is taken from a song - The Fiddlers - that he wrote two years earlier and it re-appears in various forms throughout the piece. The driving first subject proper has enormous latent power, while the second subject is a lyrical version of the motto theme, so the two subjects are highly polarised in both mood and texture. This makes for a dramatic development as the first subject's headlong momentum is continually being held back by the motto theme and the massive repeated chords, which are another feature of this movement. After a regular recapitulation, the movement ends with a highly atmospheric coda as the cello plays the motto theme over a ghostly sul ponticello from the other instruments.

The Romanze leaves the passion of the first movement behind, opening with the cello leading the quartet with its serenade-like theme. This relaxed idea is contrasted with another restless and agitated subject and the movement consists of these two moods being contrasted with each other, sometimes alternating, sometimes together. The Intermezzo with its intriguing play of triple- and duple-time signatures brings us closer to the idea of Norwegian folk-music. The central trio does indeed call up a Norwegian folk tune, which is passed from instrument to instrument, this vigorous tune from the mountainy men being set against another lyrical and reflective idea.

The finale reflects the first movement with a slow introduction based on a fragment of the motto theme, though its uncertain accents are banished by the Mediterranean gaiety of a light-hearted saltarello. But the mountains of the North gradually re-appear with all their Nordic passionate melancholy, dampening the southern joie de vivre. Towards the end the main theme from the first movement violently asserts itself before the final proclamation of the motto brings the work to a thunderous conclusion.

FULL DETAILS SEARCH FOR MORE

String Quartet in G minor Op.27

Composer: Edvard Grieg (b. 1843 - d. 1907)
Performance date: Saturday 2nd July 2016
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

Share on Twitter | Share on Facebook
http://archive.westcorkmusic.ie/details/view/cmf/550

Composer Edvard Grieg (b. 1843 - d. 1907)
Work Title String Quartet in G minor Op.27
Composition Year 1877-8
Work Movements 1. Un poco andante – Allegro molto ed agitato
2. Romanze – Andantino
3. Intermezzo – Allegro molto marcato
4. Finale – Lento – Presto al saltarello
Artist(s) Borusan Quartet (Esen Kıvrak, Olgu Kızılay [violins], Efdal Altun [viola], Cağ Ercağ, [cello]) [quartet]
Performance Date Saturday 2nd July 2016
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Main Evening Concert
Duration 00:37:45
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category String Quartet
Instrumentation 2vn, va, vc
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

I have recently finished a string quartet that I still haven't heard. It is in G minor and is not intended to bring trivialities to market. It strives towards breadth, soaring flight and above all resonance for the instruments for which it is written. I needed to do this as a study. Now I shall tackle another piece of chamber music; I think in that way I shall find myself again. You can have no idea what trouble I had with the forms, but this because I was stagnating, and this in turn was in part on account of a number of occasional works (Peer Gynt, Sigurd Jorsalfar and other horrors) and in part on account of too much popularity. I have thought of saying 'Farewell shadows' to all of this - if it can be done.

Despite his classically based studies in Leipzig and Copenhagen, Grieg had early become an enthusiastic adherent to the cause of Norwegian romantic nationalism. He also developed a life-long interest in Norwegian folk tunes and an ever-growing love of his country's wild, mountainous scenery. The Quartet was written during a prolonged stay in the Hardanger district where both the mountains themselves and their music became key influences in his composition.

There are few quartets with the sheer sonic power of Grieg's Quartet, a power that makes itself felt immediately as the work's defining motto theme is announced in unison in the slow introduction. This distinctive idea is taken from a song - The Fiddlers - that he wrote two years earlier and it re-appears in various forms throughout the piece. The driving first subject proper has enormous latent power, while the second subject is a lyrical version of the motto theme, so the two subjects are highly polarised in both mood and texture. This makes for a dramatic development as the first subject's headlong momentum is continually being held back by the motto theme and the massive repeated chords, which are another feature of this movement. After a regular recapitulation, the movement ends with a highly atmospheric coda as the cello plays the motto theme over a ghostly sul ponticello from the other instruments.

The Romanze leaves the passion of the first movement behind, opening with the cello leading the quartet with its serenade-like theme. This relaxed idea is contrasted with another restless and agitated subject and the movement consists of these two moods being contrasted with each other, sometimes alternating, sometimes together. The Intermezzo with its intriguing play of triple- and duple-time signatures brings us closer to the idea of Norwegian folk-music. The central trio does indeed call up a Norwegian folk tune, which is passed from instrument to instrument, this vigorous tune from the mountainy men being set against another lyrical and reflective idea.

The finale reflects the first movement with a slow introduction based on a fragment of the motto theme, though its uncertain accents are banished by the Mediterranean gaiety of a light-hearted saltarello. But the mountains of the North gradually re-appear with all their Nordic passionate melancholy, dampening the southern joie de vivre. Towards the end the main theme from the first movement violently asserts itself before the final proclamation of the motto brings the work to a thunderous conclusion.