Karl Aage Rasmussen
Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Surrounded by Scales (1985)
Works for 2-6 Players
Karl Aage Rasmussen's string quartet Surrounded by Scales relates to his works from the later years, also having an "S" in the title: the quartet Solos and Shadows, performed by the Arditti-Quartet during the ISCM-festival in Canada 1984 and A Symphony in Time. In these works Karl Aage Rasmussen uses, as before, elements from the music of old time. But contrary to these works the repeated use has now no longer the character of quotation. The initial point then was an often ironic game with the meaning of the quotations, but K.A.R has now advanced to working with the material that a progressive compositional technique is able to find in the music of old times.
This has made K.A.R keep distance from music that "communicates". The question remains, however, whether he does not right now communicate direct, but without the musicological distance. That is at least what I make out of the quartet Surrounded by Scales when it is played with the artistic nerve of the Arditti-Quartet. The reminiscences from Bach's "Inventions" become diminutive compared to what K.A.R does to the material throughout the four sharply profiled movements of the quartet.
Arditti String Quartet