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Antigone Quartet, Sarah Lavaud - Charles Koechlin: Piano Quintet Op.80 & String Quartet No. 3, Op.72 (2009)

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Antigone Quartet, Sarah Lavaud - Charles Koechlin: Piano Quintet Op.80 & String Quartet No. 3, Op.72 (2009)

Charles Koechlin: Piano Quintet Op.80 & String Quartet No. 3, Op.72 (2009)
Antigone Quartet; Sarah Lavaud, piano

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 237 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 150 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: AR Ré-Sé | # AR 2009-1 | Time: 00:56:05

This disc is a perfect demonstration of what treasures might be waiting to be rediscovered among Charles Koechlin's huge and still drastically undervalued output. Both the Piano Quintet and the Third String Quartet were begun during the first world war, and the bulk of work on them was completed soon after hostilities ended; the Quartet was first performed in 1924, but Koechlin continued to revise the Quintet for another 10 years before it received its premiere.

Both works are reactions to the horrors and the carnage of the war, but stylistically they are very different. Most of the Quartet is identifiably and in some ways unremarkably French, with echoes of early Debussy and Fauré especially in the conversational exchanges of the opening movement, a diatonic slow movement and a folksy, uncomplicated finale. But the Scherzo, which is second in the sequence, is something else altogether. With its martial, trumpet-like flourishes and drumrolls, it evokes the same world as the central movement of Debussy's two-piano En Blanc et Noir, composed around the same time, but there's an extra edge of brittle sarcasm to the music that seems to prefigure early Prokofiev and Shostakovich, as well as the French composers of Les Six, several of whom were taught by Koechlin.

The 40-minute Piano Quintet is even more remarkable: it's an attempt to translate the experience of war into abstract instrumental music. The four movements all have descriptive titles – The Obscure Wait of What Shall Be; The Enemy Attack – The Wound; Consoling Nature; Finale – The Joy, and the first two contain some of the most extraordinary music Koechlin ever wrote. The first movement, spectral and glacially slow, verges on atonality at times; the second, a scherzo, brings two very different musical ideas into violent confrontation; there's then a radiant, consoling slow movement and an unbuttoned, celebratory finale, but it's the memory of the first two movements that lingers. Both works are superbly played by the young Antigone Quartet, with Sarah Lavaud joining them for the Piano Quintet. The whole disc is a revelation.

Review by Andrew Clements, The Guardian

It would be difficult to name another composer so little beholden to the attitudes, gestures, and expectations of Western music—archaic, religious, operatic, elegant, heroic, lyric, “daringly Modern”—than Charles Koechlin, though he was deeply versed in them all. Instead, his most ambitiously characteristic music hovers on the brink between the psychic and the somatic—inscapes preoccupied with sickness and healing. The movements of the Piano Quintet, for instance, follow a program familiar from other Koechlin works (e.g., Le Buisson ardent, Le Docteur Fabricius —see Fanfare 28:2) outlined in their titles—“The Obscure Wait of What Shall Be … The Enemy Attack—The Wound … Consoling Nature … Joy.” Notions of dissonance, expanded tonality, chains of fifths—all the tropes of analysis, in fact—seem irrelevant in the face of a music so strangely accomplished, though one may turn to them for aural orientation. Which is to say that this aspect of Koechlin is far from surefire—an acquired taste. A taste worth acquiring? When Les Préludes, Ein Heldenleben, La Mer, Alborada del gracioso, etc., and all those works derived from them, provoke only a jaded smile one may discover a novel and rewarding, if attenuated, refreshment in Koechlin. The string quartets, on the other hand, are Koechlin at his most accessible, charm-rife and chaste through the First, wizened yet affirmative in the Second (recording premieres by the Ardeo Quartet, AR RE-SE 20063, Fanfare 31;6), and melodically generous, confidingly effusive in the Third—a manner reminiscent of Fauré’s String Quartet. The movements are very brief, the magical Scherzo, at 4:10, being the longest, and over far too soon. Allusions to reveille in the Adagio loom as distant “real”-world intrusions into an enchanted demesne grown apprehensive and elegiac, while the skipping triplets of the Final—Koechlin’s formula for joy—for once, are inspired and gratifyingly persuasive. Lightweight yet pithy, smiling but fraught, in the manner of the piano sonatinas, the Third Quartet is uniquely, radiantly satisfying and, in its offhand way, clues the ear for the altogether stranger world of the Piano Quintet. Performances are delving through the former and deftly singing in the latter. Sound is close yet open, vibrant yet detailed. Both works are disc premieres— de rigueur for Koechlin mavens, and enthusiastically recommended.

Review by Adrian Corleonis, FANFARE

Antigone Quartet, Sarah Lavaud - Charles Koechlin: Piano Quintet Op.80 & String Quartet No. 3, Op.72 (2009)



Antigone Quartet, Sarah Lavaud - Charles Koechlin: Piano Quintet Op.80 & String Quartet No. 3, Op.72 (2009)


Sarah Lavaud, piano

Antigone Quartet:
Floriane Bonanni, violin
Saori Furukawa, violin
Aurelia Souvignet-Kowalski, viola
Pauline Bartissol, cello

Recorded at the Tibor Varga Studio, Grimisuat, Switzerland, on 1st to 5th December 2008

Tracklist:

Piano Quintet op.80
01. I. L'attente obscure de ce qui sera… (Andante très calme presque adagio) (9:46)
02. II. L'Assaut de l'ennemi — La Blessure (Allegro con moto) (12:13)
03. III. La Nature consolatrice (Andante) (10:17)
04. IV. Final — La Joie (Allegro moderato) (9:54)

Quartet no.3 op.72
05. I. Très calme (3:39)
06. II. Scherzo (4:12)
07. III. Adagio (3:27)
08. IV. Final (2:36)


Exact Audio Copy V1.3 from 2. September 2016

EAC extraction logfile from 19. November 2017, 17:53

Koechlin, Charles / Piano Quintet op.80 - Quartet no.3 op.72

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All tracks accurately ripped

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==== Log checksum 8A97713F59B16844E7C21C14F38EDEA529AA0348411282220D5C3515AE6A32E3 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2018-01-05 00:10:24

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Antigone Quartet & Sarah Lavaud (piano) / Piano Quintet op.80 • Quartet no.3 op.72 (1-4)
Antigone Quartet / Piano Quintet op.80 • Quartet no.3 op.72 (5-8)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR17 -2.26 dB -26.09 dB 9:46 01-Piano Quintet op.80 - I. L'attente obscure de ce qui sera… (Andante très calme presque adagio)
DR11 -0.38 dB -17.46 dB 12:13 02-Piano Quintet op.80 - II. L'Assaut de l'ennemi — La Blessure (Allegro con moto)
DR16 -3.51 dB -25.31 dB 10:17 03-Piano Quintet op.80 - III. La Nature consolatrice (Andante)
DR10 -1.14 dB -17.12 dB 9:54 04-Piano Quintet op.80 - IV. IV. Final — La Joie (Allegro moderato)
DR13 -6.73 dB -23.74 dB 3:39 05-Quartet no.3 op.72 - I. Très calme
DR15 -0.71 dB -23.76 dB 4:12 06-Quartet no.3 op.72 - II. Scherzo
DR12 -12.87 dB -29.19 dB 3:27 07-Quartet no.3 op.72 - III. Adagio
DR13 -0.41 dB -17.60 dB 2:36 08-Quartet no.3 op.72 - IV. Final
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 8
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 702 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Antigone Quartet, Sarah Lavaud - Charles Koechlin: Piano Quintet Op.80 & String Quartet No. 3, Op.72 (2009)

Antigone Quartet, Sarah Lavaud - Charles Koechlin: Piano Quintet Op.80 & String Quartet No. 3, Op.72 (2009)

All thanks to original releaser - quivive

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