DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Matangi’s ‘Outcast’ Is Much More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

By Norman Lebrecht on July 29, 2022

The Matangi Quartet (Image courtesy of the artists)
The Matangi Quartet (Image courtesy of the artists)

Matangi: Outcast (PIAS)

★★★★☆

🎧  Spotify | Amazon | Apple Music

I dithered for weeks over whether or not to review this release, for reasons that will soon become clear. In the course of my indecision I listened to it at least ten times, so much so that it became a signifier of the state of our world in the war-torn, climate-seared summer of 2022. It is now a candidate for record of the year.

Matangi are a Dutch string quartet, enterprising in their choice of unheard and little-heard music. The album consists of works by Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov and Dmitri Shostakovich, none of whom can be considered obscure or, as the title proclaims, rejected. All, despite their private degrees of dissension, survived and generally thrived in the Soviet Union.

The three works performed are Schnittke’s 3rd quartet of 1983, Shostakovich’s 8th of 1969 and Silverstrov’s first of 1974. The first two received more penetrating recordings by, for instance, Kronos and the Borodin Quartet. What makes this recording stand out, however, is their positioning before and after the introspective, deceptively ingratiating quartet by the leading Ukrainian composer Silvestrov, a man whose moral integrity shines through the murk of the disintegrating empire he inhabited.

Silvestrov, now a refugee in Germany, writes music of rage and consolation, the emotions interacting therapeutically in undemonstrative textures. Matangi make a masterpiece out of this beautifully understated quartet. More: by placing it between Schnittke and Shostakovich, they create a sound world that belongs both to the time of its creation and, insistently, to the present moment.

Their Schnittke may lack the acrid edge of the composer’s biting irony, and their Shostakovich is a tad too smooth for my understanding of the work. But these are minor quibbles. This album is so much more than the sum of its parts. It is modern history in motion.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, subscribe to Slippedisc.com.

#LUDWIGVAN

Get the daily arts news straight to your inbox.

Sign up for the Ludwig van Daily — classical music and opera in five minutes or less HERE.

Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

REPORT | Teens, TikTok, And Orchestral Music

By Anya Wassenberg on August 5, 2022

Teens on TikTok are streaming orchestral music, and leading what’s some are calling a revival of the art form.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

REPORT | New Research Details The Link Between Classical Music, Blood Pressure & Mood

By Anya Wassenberg on August 3, 2022

Researchers looked into the assumed connections between listening to classical music, blood pressure, and mood in a new study.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | Canadian Cellist Bryan Cheng Awarded Verbier Festival Academy’s Prix Yves Paternot

By Anya Wassenberg on August 2, 2022

Canadian cellist Bryan Cheng has been awarded the Verbier Festival Academy’s Prix Yves Paternot for 2022.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.