The Magginis mean business; that is the unequivocal
message hearing this disc. The attack and unshakeable commitment
of the players positively leaps out of the speakers at you. Their
technical skill whether in the flood of intensity or the subtler
voicings and interplay is never in doubt.
The First Quartet dates from 1906,a work
written by the 27 year old composer for the Bologna competition.
This is music caught in the confident high tide of the romantic
sea. It resembles that of early Zemlinsky and Karl Weigl (such
a pity the Arttis were never able to complete their Weigl cycle
for Nimbus - will anyone rescue that series). The whole work projects
warmth and affection - a tribute to the Magginis.
Ah but then the remorseless pages are turned
and we come to a world changed by The Great War - or at least
A Great War. That war progressively snuffed out the innocence
from his music and injected scorch and rancour. The Third Quartet
has about it a clarity, spareness and desolation. This is
the dark side of the moon by comparison with the first two quartets.
The scene is an almost palpable picture of deserted trench networks
and the dead hanging in the looms of wire. That said the Magginis
in the central movement superbly capture a touchingly wistful
lament. Lovely playing.
This layout nicely assuages the acerbities of
the New Viennese Bridge with the young romantic headstrong innocent
of the pre-war quartets.
With the Magginis nothing seems impossible. I
can imagine them setting down the complete Van Dieren quartets
in a few years time.
This disc goes right to the top of the recommendations
for its scorching ripeness and sentiment.