One of the UK’s finest chamber ensembles, the Navarra Quartet, presents their next recording, a programme of music exploring those eternal human preoccupations: Love and Death, released on 17th July 2020 on Orchid Classics.
Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata, inspired by Beethoven’s work, in turn prompted Janáček to write his String Quartet No.1, a piece that reflects Tolstoy’s story of passion and drama. Schubert’s immortal ‘Death and the Maiden’ Quartet includes variations based on his song of the same name, in which the maiden attempts to delay Death’s advances. In Chrysanthemums, Puccini evokes flowers at an Italian funeral, and Spanish composer Joaquín Turina wrote The Bullfighter’s Prayer about a bullfighter’s moment of contemplation before facing his audience, and his own mortality. These works are interspersed with gems by Kurtág, including a piece composed as a memorial for some of his dearest friends. The Navarra Quartet describes this programme as an “imaginary dialogue”, and the unique, conversational rapport of these musicians draws the listener into their intricate musical world.
The full track listing is below:
Joaquín Turina (1882–1949)
1.La oración del torero, Op.34
Gyorgy Kurtág (b.1926)
2.Ligatura Y from Jelek, játékok és uzenetek (Signs, Games and Messages) for string trio
Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924)
Léos Janácek (1854–1928)
String Quartet No.1
7.Con moto (Adagio)-Piùmosso
8.Arioso interrotto (di Endre Szervánszky): Larghetto from Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
String Quartet in D minor, D810 ‘Death and the Maiden’
10.Andante con moto
11.Scherzo: Allegro molto
For more information, visit the Orchid Classics website here.