György Ligeti – String Quartet No. 2 Cello (1968)

Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, Trinity Church Square, London on July 13-15, 1994.

Performed by Arditti String Quartet: Rohan de Saram – Cello / Garth Knox – Viola / David Alberman – Violin / Irvine Arditti – Violin

György Ligeti’s String Quartet No. 2 is a string quartet that was composed between February and August 1968.[1] It consists of five movements:  Allegro nervoso Sostenuto, molto calmo Come un meccanismo di precisione Presto furioso, brutale, tumultuoso Allegro con delicatezza It is approximately 21 minutes in duration. It is dedicated to the LaSalle Quartet who gave its first performance in Baden-Baden on the 14 December 1969. [source]

György Sándor Ligeti (28 May 1923 – 12 June 2006) was a composer of contemporary classical music. He has been described as “one of the most important avant-garde composers in the latter half of the twentieth century” and “one of the most innovative and influential among progressive figures of his time”.[1]  Born in Transylvania, Romania, he lived in Hungary before emigrating and becoming an Austrian citizen. [source]

Here is the full concert:

“Now there is no taboo; everything is allowed. But one cannot simply go back to tonality, it’s not the way. We must find a way of neither going back nor continuing the avant-garde. I am in a prison: one wall is the avant-garde, the other wall is the past, and I want to escape.”
– György Ligeti
Said in A lecture at the New England Conservatory in 1993









[Inspired by Viktória Nádas]


Luigi Nono: Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima (1979)

In 1979, after a three year long compositional crisis, Luigi Nono returned to composition with a series of works which seemed to be radically different from anything he had made in the preceding three decades. One of these works is the string quartet Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima, which was premiered by the LaSalle Quartet in 1980. Few postwar works have been commented – and praised – as much as this quartet. Only a year after the premiere, Heinz-Klaus Metzger called it Nono’sturning point, and thirty years later, David Metzer looked back at it as one of the works from around 1980 that introduced a new phase of musical modernism. [source]

Diotima was Socrates’ teacher, and is associated with the concept of time. Performed by the Arditti String Quartet, this music is guided by lines from Holderlin’s famous poem, which are present only as an unspoken meditation and guidepost written into the score in 52 places. Nono poses the fundamental questions “Where am I, and who am I?” by examining old music and memories from the distant past as producers of both pain and hope. The composer seeks to “externalize as fully as possible that which has been internalized….” He concludes, “That is what matters today.” [source]

COMPOSER : Luigi Nono

Rohan de Saram – Cello
Levine Andrade – Viola
David Alberman – Violin
Irvine Arditti – Violin

Recorded in Cologne, July 1990 and released in 1991 on Montaigne.