Lutoslawski, Panufnik: String Quartets (CD)

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Tippett Quartet

2014 is the centenary year of Andrzej Panufnik and, while his orchestral music has received attention, his innovative string quartets remain neglected. Bitter-sweet harmonies characterise the First Quartet. The Second Quartet, whose subtitle ‘Messages’ refers to the mysterious sounds of telegraph poles vibrating in the wind, is notable for its motivic coherence and emotional intensity. The Third Quartet, subtitled ‘Wycinanki’, a reference to paper cuts familiar in Polish rustic art, ends with one of Panufnik’s most moving statements. Lutosławski’s dramatic and experimental String Quartet was written when he was at the forefront of the European avant-garde.

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String Quartet

Panufnik, A:

String Quartet No. 1

String Quartet No. 2, ‘Messages’

String Quartet No. 3, ‘Wycinanki’

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Financial Times

23rd August 2014


“The Tippett Quartet’s performances offer high-quality execution without hiding the dryness of some of the music. Inconveniently, the String Quartet of Panufnik’s Polish contemporary Lutoslawski takes the listener, and the fine Tippett Quartet, on a more imaginative journey of exploration.”

The Observer

24th August 2014


“[Panufnik], like Lutoslawski, had a gift for textures of extreme delicacy and detail, and the mood in each – though full of contrast – is predominantly beguiling and pensive.”

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