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Poul Ruders

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Strygekvartet nr. 4 (2012)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Year Composed
22 Minutes
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Programme Note
Poul Ruders Strygekvartet nr. 4 (2012)
It might be of interest for some to note, that a gap of only six months separates the writing of my second and third quartets (1979), but a 33 year interval stands between the third and the present piece, String Quartet No. 4., which is in five movements and is about nothing but itself.

The first movement Adagio - Presto alla breve - Adagio is an overture of sorts, lifting the lid, as it were, on the odd bit of what happens later on in the other movements. A portal into: The second movement, Vivo scherzando, which is just that: a short (2 minutes only) fast and jocular piece leading up to the next movement: Adagio sognante, a slow and hushed dream-world, paving the way for the pièce de resistance of the entire quartet: Presto alla breve, a ferociously fast tour de force for the four players, who, with that one under their belts, can lean back a little (but only a little) and put the whole thing gently to bed in the fifth and final movement: a simple Adagio.

Off the record: my first string quartet (1972) has been withdrawn and is no more, a fact that renders the numbering of the subsequent quartets a matter of personal conviction…

- Poul Ruders, November 2012

Mr. Ruders’s String Quartet No. 4 was especially striking in the incisive performance here. This 30-minute work exemplifies the composer’s postmodern style, juxtaposing gritty harmonies, fiendish outbursts, dancing episodes and radiant lyricism — contrasts so sudden they can seem like non sequiturs
Anthony Tommasini, New Work Times,15/08/2019
delightful from beginning to end
Guy Dammann, The Guardian,11/03/2013
it was a miracle of stylistic light-footedness
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph,11/03/2013
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