String Quartets

NEOS 11020CD NEOS 11020CD

Featured works: Georg Katzer (b. 1935): String Quartets: String Quartet No. 1(1965), String Quartet No. 3 (1987); String Quartet No. 4 'Tempi Fragili' (2004). Performed by Sonar Quartett: Susanne Zapf, Kirsten Harms (violins); NIkolaus Schlierf (viola); Cosima Gerhardt (cello). "Silesian-born composer Georg Katzer grew up after the war near Magdeburg. He was at first a musical autodidact, because those post-war years precluded any thoughts of systematic music instruction. After a requisite year of preliminary study, he was accepted for composition studies at the Berlin Conservatory, where he studied with Rudolf Wagner-Régeny and later with Ruth Zechlin. What influenced him most were the teachings of Hanns Eisler, with whom he studied from 1960 onwards. Although the string quartets are certainly not located at the centre of the extensive output of Georg Katzer, they nevertheless accompany his entire development as a composer, representing not the sum of his work, but a picture of his artistic development. In the first quartet, an alternation of asynchronous, aleatoric fields of dissolution and more or less strictly synchronized moving patterns is carried out. Of the third quartet, the composer has written: 'One summer evening my ear honed in on the singing of crickets. I was awake and fully conscious, but for the first time I heard them as a thickly-meshed fabric around a central tone. These extra-musical associations coagulated into something else: human experience as an analogy of art.' The 'String Quartet No. 4' oscillates episodically between moving forward and stopping still, between stasis and dynamic change, between mechanistic, empty operations and rude outbreaks, treating time as a broken continuum, until towards the end any sense of coordination is given up and a conclusion is offered in which each flageolet sounds on in spheric aloofness." Stereo/multichannel hybrid SACD that can be played on any CD player.