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Friday, May 26, 2017
Caetani, The Two String Quartets, Alauda Quartet
The minor mode of the Op.12 brings out a gentle impressionist-romantic melancholy that the Alauda Quartet handles without sentimentality, with the matter-of-fact presence that we in our contemporary world need to hear in this music--as closer to our time than the 19th century. This is a work I would not like to hear the Budapest Quartet play, because they might give it a heart-on-sleeve nerve-driven reading that would miss the subtlety and transcendence that the Alauda give to the work.
The early Op. 1 No. 1 in a single movement has a somewhat similar hushed expectancy, and a moodiness that like the Op. 12 speaks with a kind of intimacy that is not unwelcome. It has moments that are perhaps a little less transparent and more romantic than not, but there is nothing perfunctory about it, either. Caetani speaks with his own sincerity, lives and expresses convincingly within the style sets he inhabits.
If you have some time to devote to unfamiliar music and feel a little moody yourself this is attractive music. Recommended for you who feel the lack or recall a life abundance now dissipated! Or for that matter it is for you who just like the idea of a kind of mysteriously gentle impressionist-late romanticism.