Warsaw Autumn 2006 – III

Yesterday’s second half the string quartet marathon ended up being a bit too much for us and plus our friend Karen was in town and we wanted to meet up with her and other friends, so we left after the second intermission.

The pieces on the second concert were:

  • Eugeniusz Knapik – String Quartet
  • Aleksander Lason – String Quartet No. 6
  • Stanslaw Krupowicz – Farewell Variations on a Them by Mozart for amplified string quartet and tape
  • Barbara Buczek – Transgressio. String Quartet No. 2
  • Zbigniew Bargielski – Farwell Night for accordion and string quartet
  • Krzysztof Knittel – Dorikos for string quartet and tape
  • Witold Szalonek – 1+1+1+1 for 1-4 string instruments
  • Tadeusz Wielecki – Hazard and Necessity for string quartet and electronic media
  • Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki – String Quartet No. 1 ‘It is Already Dusk’

Some notes I took during the concert:

Knapik – beautiful string writing, overall form a bit incoherent

Lason – very beautiful serene first half, second half very energetic but took me by surprise at first, fun, even joyous; performers seemed to have gotten lost at one point, but overall enjoyed the piece very much

Krupowicz – electronic sounds seemed very dated; did not like the reverb used and there was a lot of it, piece did not feel very serious, sort of a catalogue of techniques

*Intermission*

Buczek – driven by effects, seemed hyper emotional, effects seemed frivolous (tones can often be too…)

Bargielski – a bit over dramatic, very loud cuts and gestures, little transition, red hot or ice cold, not a fan of accordian in classical setting (have yet to hear a piece with this used that really struck me)

Knittel – tape and quartet, concrete style tape, seems more composing with an idea than sound, didn’t work for me

*Intermission* (We left at this point)

Szalonek – Did not attend

Wielecki – Did not attend

Gorecki – Did not attend

I think that I found a lot of the music was very gestural, and perhaps it is just my own taste in that I prefer tones, but a number of pieces also felt very over dramatic. Looking back, I think sonorist techniques and pieces work so well with a string quartet; perhaps it is the number of performers (only four) or the limited sound palette with just string instruments and bodies to use, but I find the larger orchestral or chamber ensemble sonorist pieces more effective.

A long day of string quartets, it was as interesting to hear as it was exhausting.  I’m glad to have attended but would love to spend more time with each individually to really have a chance to get to know the pieces, which I found hard to do in this marathon setting.

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