Karnavicius - String Quartets 1 & 2 | Ondine ODE13512

Karnavicius - String Quartets 1 & 2


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Label: Ondine

Cat No: ODE13512

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 5th March 2021



This new release by the Vilnius String Quartet presents two exciting gems in 20th-century chamber music: the first two string quartets by Lithuanian composer Jurgis Karnavičius (1884Ė1941) as world-premiere recordings.

Karnavičius made significant contributions to the cultural life in Lithuania after returning to his home country in the late 1920s. Karnavičius had been a pupil Maximilian Steinberg at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, later becoming a professor in the same institution. During his years in St Petersburg the composer wrote four impressive string quartets, filling the chronological and stylistic gap between the string quartets of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.

Karnavičiusís String Quartet no.1 was published by Belaieff after the composer graduated from the St Petersburg Conservatoire. Its folkloristic elements bring to mind the quartets of DvořŠk. Karnavičiusís Second Quartet, was written in captivity a few years later: during World War I he fell into German captivity and until 1918 lived in a prison camp at Josefstadt, near Vienna. This work already shows first signs of a shift towards Expressionism.

Karnavičiusís vocabulary was quite unique in the Lithuanian context and did not beget following, so for a long time Karnavičius remained ďa stranger at home and at home among strangersĒ. Although, the composerís work has been admired in Lithuania, these magnificent 20th-century chamber music opuses have been performed extremely rarely after his death. Yet, these pieces reveal compositional mastery and aesthetic subtlety.

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Karnavicius - String Quartets 3 & 4
Karnavicius - String Quartets 3 & 4



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