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|String Quartet No. 2, Sz. 67
|Hommage à Mihály András
|String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114
Bartók’s set of six quartets remain one of the 20th century’s indelible masterworks, and form the backbone of the composer’s output. In these visceral, high-voltage yet mysterious pieces Bartók broke new ground, compressing, expanding and transforming his musical ideas to build grand, arch-like structures.
In this three-part series, the Carducci Quartet interleave two quartets with a jewel-like miniature by Bartók’s living compatriot, György Kurtág.
Bartók’s second quartet takes his language from balanced grace to the extremity of destruction, ending in melancholy fragmentation. Splinters pierce the darkness in Kurtág’s deeply moving Hommage à András Mihály, 12 microludes which illuminate and resound in an expanded time. The concert ends with Bartók’s sixth and final quartet, conjuring up a Hungary the composer felt was lost forever.