Boomkat Product Review:
Jürg Frey’s first work for string quartet, composed in 1988 and focussed on perceptions of audibility, here realised by Quator Bozzini in five parts recorded between 1988 and 2000, and originally issued in 2006.
It is worth the admission alone for ’Streichquartett II (1998-2000)’, a spectral 29 minute work with an uncanny presence that feels between worlds, inhabiting a gripping, liminal meta-space of timbral perception where the strings eventually appear to be singing, and we mean genuinely sounding like vocals, although there are none on the recording. It’s beautifully, deeply unsettling and spellbinding music
“"Material can be anonymous. Consider, for example, the middle voices in medieval hymn books: unadorned, not artful, a simple handiwork, a leisurely alternation of single notes. It might be a scale, or, beyond music, the stones of a wall, not artfully stacked, but simply and properly, the formal idea being nothing other than that of a wall.
When I was working on the String Quartet (1988), I encountered the painting of Agnes Martin. I saw clear-cut forms, not overgrown with rhetoric and figuration. Instead, sensuality, radiance and intensity gripped the entire space. There was a kind of visibility to her art, which I felt corresponded to the audibility in my music. Audibility: the moment when sound waves move in space and the air touches the body. The eardrum is the sensory connection between the outside and the inside world: we hear the sound and the composition.
Over the years it became more and more clear to me, that there is no anonymous material - each material has its shape, and as soon as it exists in space and time, it carries a distinct handwriting. Anonymous material is rather an idea that brings the work to a point where concentration on what is essential becomes possible, and allows one to feel that he is starting from zero."
Jürg Frey, translation: Michael Pisaro”