About the album
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 się 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 Kurtág quartets received a 2016 Diapason d’Or and the 2017 Echo Klassik award for 20th and 21st century chamber music.
11String Quartet No. 1, Op. 62, (Already it is Dusk) I. Deciso – Marcatissimo – Molto lento – Tranquillo Allegro. Deciso – Energico, molto espressivo e molto marcato ma sempre ben tenuto
12String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, “Quasi una fantasia” I. Largo sostenuto - mesto
13String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, “Quasi una fantasia” II. Deciso - Energico:marcatissimo sempre
14String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, “Quasi una fantasia” III. Arioso: Adagio cantabile ma molto espressivo e molto appassionato
15String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, “Quasi una fantasia” IV. Allegro - Sempre con grande passion e molto marcato
21String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67,( … Songs Are Sung) I. Adagio - Molto andante - cantabile
22String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67,( … Songs Are Sung) II. Largo, cantabile
23String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67,( … Songs Are Sung) III. Allegro, sempre ben marcato
24String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67,( … Songs Are Sung) IV. Deciso - espressivo ma ben tenuto
25String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67,( … Songs Are Sung) V. Largo - tranquillo