sabato 2 maggio 2009

Peter Ruzicka - String Quartets (Arditti String Quartet)

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Peter Ruzicka (b. July 3, 1948, Düsseldorf). Esteemed German composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as an administrator, conductor and writer.

Prof. Ruzicka initially studied music theory and piano with Peter Hartmann and oboe with Egbert Gutsch at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg from 1963–68. He later studied law and musicology in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin from 1968–76 and earned his doctorate under the supervision of Wilhelm Nordemann in 1977.

Among his many honors are the Kompositionspreis from the city of Stuttgart (1969, for Esta Noche [Trauermusik für die Opfer des Krieges in Vietnam]), a prize in the Bartók competition in Budapest (1970, for 2. Streichquartett, '...Fragment...' [withdrawn]) and a mention in the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (1971, for Metastrofe [Versuch eines Ausbruchs]). He has also received First Prize in the Gaudeamus competition (1972, for In processo di tempo...), the Bach-Preis-Stipendium from the city of Hamburg (1972) and the Louis Spohr Musikpreis Braunschweig (2004, for his œuvre and his promotion of new music). He has been a member of the Akademie der Künste in Munich since 1985 and of the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg since 1987.

He has received commissions from the cities of Augsburg and Düsseldorf and from Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Berliner Festwochen, the Bundesjugendorchester, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester. The Internationale Musikverlage Hans Sikorski, the Kölner Philharmonie, NDR, RIAS, the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, the Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, SDR, SWF, and WDR have also commissioned him.


[...] Alongside Ruzicka’s works for large ensembles runs a steady production of string quartets - but this is in no way a “sideline”. These works have been closely connected to the poetic work of Paul Celan and to Webern’s axiom of a maximally dense musico-linguistic statement since ‘...fragment...' Five Epigrams for String Quartet (1970). The Second String Quartet arose as a requiem for Paul Celan and is concerned with thoughts about death. These thoughts can be considered to be the scope of the following compositions for or with string quartet, as in the eschatological standpoint of the Third String Quartet ‘...über ein Verschwinden’ [about a Disappearance], the title of which quotes Boulez’s obituary for Adorno and whose telos is found in the final movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony as an allegory of death itself; ‘Tombeau’ for flute, (doubling alto and bass flutes) and string quartet of 2000, “a late echo of the Flute Concerto” (P.R.), reveals itself as a stele for Karl-Bernhard Sebon (1935-1994), the soloist who played the world premiere of ‘Emanazione. Variationen für Flöte und vier Orchestergruppen’ (1976). Paul Celan’s ‘Force of Light’ is one of nine text sources in ‘...sich verlierend’ [Losing Oneself] for string quartet and speaker (1996), a work which, in regard to structure, is just as important a connecting link to the musical theatrical work ‘Celan’ as is ‘...Inseln, randlos...‘ [Islands, edgeless] of 1994/95. Here, as in nearly all of his works since the middle of the 1990s, one clearly perceives the tendency to abandon the fragmentary aesthetic of his previous works in favour of an arch-like grandeur, thus fulfilling the requirements of a full-length stage work as well.
The compositional idea includes – as the image of edgeless islands suggests – compression and unfolding, the material core and the breadth of musical space, which the solo violin, large orchestra and a chamber choir fulfil. Paul Celan is also present in this work with a poem from the cycle ‘Eingedunkelt’ [Darkened]: “After the renunciation of light: / the messenger’s walk, / brightening day, // the blissfully blossoming message, / shriller and shriller, / finds its way to a bleeding ear.”



1) "...über ein Verschwinden" (String Quartet no. 3) (1992)

2) Klangschatten (1991)

"...fragment..." Five Epigrams for String Quartet (String Quartet no. 2) (1970)
3) i Molto calmo, Statico
4) ii Eccitato
5) iii Sfasciarsi
6) iv Movimentato
7) v Indistino

8) Introspezione, Documentation for String Quartet (String Quartet no. 1) (1969-70)

9) "...sich verlierend" for String Quartet and Speaker (String Quartet no. 4) (1996)


Arditti String Quartet:
Irvine Arditti, violin
Graeme Jennings, violin
Garth Knox, viola
Rohan de Saram, cello

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, speaker

l i n k

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