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Complete String Quartets

Quatuor Molinari
OLGA RANZENHOFER premier violon / first violin
ANTOINE BAREIL deuxième violon / second violin
PIERRE-ALAIN BOUVRETTE violoncelle / cello

ACD2 2802
Double CD

Known worldwide for his Symphony No.3, ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs,’ Polish composer Henryk Górecki enjoys an exceptionally high profile as a composer of contemporary music.   Now the Molinari Quartet has chosen to explore Górecki's chamber works with this new recording of his complete string quartets.

Each quartet bears a descriptive title.   The first, ‘Już sie; zmierzcha [Already dusk is falling],’ is named after the opening line of a motet by a Polish Renaissance composer.   The second, ‘Quasi una fantasia’ invokes Beethoven, acknowledged by Górecki himself as his muse for his first two string quartets. The title of the third quartet, … songs are sung, comes from a line by the Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov.

The Molinari Quartet has established itself as one of Canada's leading string quartets and has received nineteen Opus Prizes from the Quebec Music Council in recognition of its musical excellence.   Critics describe the Molinari Quartet as an “essential” and “prodigious” ensemble, and “Canada's answer to the Kronos or Arditti Quartet.”

The Molinari Quartet's recordings on ATMA Classique include the complete quartets of Schafer, Schnittke, Kurtág, and Gubaidulina.   These albums have received international critical acclaim including two Editors’ Choices by Gramophone magazine and rave reviews from The Strad, Fanfare, and Diapason, among others.   The Molinari's recording of the complete Kurtàg quartets received a 2016 Diapason d'Or and the 2017 Echo Klassik award for 20th and 21st century chamber music.


CD 1

Quatuor à cordes no 1, op. 62, « Juz sie zmierzcha » ( C'est déjà le crépuscule )
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 62, “Juz sie zmierzcha” (Already it is Dusk)

1. I. Deciso - Marcatissimo - Molto lento - Tranquillo - Allegro. Deciso - [16:07]
        Energico, molto espressivo e molto marcato ma sempre ben tenuto

Quatuor à cordes no 2, op. 64, « Quasi una fantasia »
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, “Quasi una fantasia”

2. I. Largo Sostenuto - Mesto [7:51]
3. II. Deciso - Energico : marcatissimo sempre [6:40]
4. III. Arioso : Adagio cantabile ma molto espressivo e molto appassionato [8:17]
5. IV. Allegro - sempre con grande passion e molto marcato [9:30]

CD 2

Quatuor à cordes no 3, op. 67, « Piesni spiewaja » ( … et les chants sont chantés )
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67, “Piesni spiewaja” ( … Songs Are Sung)

1. I. Adagio - Molto andante - cantabile [11:57]
2. II. Largo, cantabile [13:35]
3. III. Allegro, sempre ben marcato [4:44]
4. IV. Deciso - espressivo ma ben tenuto [12:52]
5. V. Largo - tranquillo [13:41]

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