|Michael Jarrell (*1958)
|Zeitfragmente - quatuor à cordes
|Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997)
|String Quartet No. 3
|Rolf Riehm (*1937)
|Tempo strozzato for String Quartet
Works by Michael Jarrell, Conlon Nancarrow and Rolf Riehm
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What happens when one loads the new GENUIN recordings of the Asasello-Quartett with 220 volts? Yes, I know that is an absurd question. But nothing would happen at all anyway, for the reproduction of the three string quartets by Michael Jarrell, Conlon Nancarrow and Rolf Riehm is so energised, is so electrically crackling - the listener gets such goose bumps in front of the sound system - that one cannot imagine any further intensification. It ranges from remote harmonics as if from outer space to hair-raising and colophony-spraying dances on the bridge, from curved time to unleashed speed. Welcome to the future!
English Booklet text
Founded in Basle in 2000 and based in Cologne since 2005. Studies with Walter Levin and with the Alban Berg Quartet. Numerous prizes and awards, including the Prize of the Association of German Concert Promoters in 2010. The Asasello Quartet stands for intensive and uncompromising artistic exploration of tradition and the present day, including original programming constellations as well as innovative concepts for new concert formats, stagings and music productions. Learn more about the Asasello Quartet here: www.asasello-quartett.eu • www.listentopaysages.com
“No time!” ['talo] called to me as I saw her hurrying out of the paternoster lift at the temporary work agency. And I was just about to seize the moment and ask her if she would have time for a bit of hanky-panky the next day. She was in a hurry and rushed past me. Nine minutes of her 40-minute lunch break had already gone by.
['talo] had agreed to get together with a couple of friends at a bistro. As always, [pɔl] was stuck in traffic. He had sent a text message, [eitʃdʒi] wanted to come too, if he got back from his research expedition in time. When she entered the “Slippery Slope” [mɑʀsɛl] was already there. A small sponge cake he had started to eat was in front of him on the table next to a glass of milk. He appeared to be lost in thought. He absentmindedly listened to the radio: “Zeitfragmente” by Michael Jarrell. Extremes were reflected with glittering brilliance at tremendous speed throughout the tension-filled room. The present fractures into many eternities.
Suddenly [mɑʀsɛl] noticed that his girlfriend had arrived and he quickly stood up to greet her. He knocked over his glass in the process, spilling the milk across the dark blue velvety tablecloth. In slow-motion, ['talo] observed how the milk initially formed a large puddle, which with a dynamic that was difficult to grasp turned into innumerable light-colored spots against a dark background. “The Milky Way,” she thought to herself. However, she said: “Sorry I’m late.”
“…Nobody appreciates time; people use it so carelessly, as though it were in endless supply. However, look at those people when they are sick, when death comes closer, when they cling to the knees of doctors or fear a death sentence. When they are willing to sacrifice all their belongings in order to live! So strong are the conflicted passions within them!
If it were indeed possible, like the years that have passed, to count the years in store for every single person, how those who see that only a few years are left would tremble, how sparingly they would suddenly budget how they spent their time. It is, after all, possible to subdivide even the smallest quantity. However, that about which you do not know when it will end must be treasured with even more care.”(*1)
“[eitʃdʒi:] and [pɔl] aren’t there yet either,” replied [mɑʀsɛl]. The dribbled milk seemed to move in circles. Before the two could take their seats, the door flew open and in came [eitʃdʒi:]. “Just got back!” he called out and squeezed his way to his friends through the many people seated in the bistro. “But I have to leave right away, too!” Nobody knew exactly where he had come from or where he would go next. In a word: research expeditions. “Where’s [pɔl]?” “Still stuck in traffic…” He sat down and his gaze took in the mess next to the empty glass. “Try to imagine a dice without any duration…” While [eitʃdʒi:] was speaking he took a cube of sugar from the bowl on the table and turned it mysteriously between his fingers. At that very moment somebody rosa at the next table was talking about: “shrinking the present.” “String Quartet No. 3.” Conlon Nancarrow punches holes in time through which music rushes.
“A prison inmate who has served 25 years says: ‘It seems as though I have spent an eternity in the fortress and at the same time it seems to me as though only a couple of weeks have gone by.’ For the girl the night had been filled with transient experiences – looks, snatches of music, smiles, caresses – each of these impressions so fleeting that no sense remained in her consciousness of anything having duration in time. Taken together, however, these brief experiences generated the feeling of having spent a long time filled with all the joys of human existence. For the prisoner in Leningrad’s Schlisselburg the opposite is the case: his twenty-five years involve tryingly protracted and separate intervals of time - from roll call in the morning to roll call in the evening, from breakfast until the noon meal. But the sum of these trivial events brought forth a new sense in which the twilight monotony of the changing months and years made time shrink, it became shorter ... The simultaneous impression of brevity and endlessness arose in this way, in this way a similar sensation was felt by the people at the New Year’s Ball and prisoners experiencing decades-long imprisonment. In both cases the sum of events generates the simultaneous feeling of endlessness and brevity. The process of change in the sense of the length and brevity of time experienced by a human being in combat is more complex. Here something different happens; here single basic impressions are warped and distorted. In battle seconds stretch out in length and hours are compressed together. The sense of something long-lasting combines with fleeting events – with shells and bombs whistling overhead, the flashes of shots and explosions. A sense of brevity is experienced with events taking a long time – advancing across a plowed field under fire, crawling from one shelter to another. But hand-to-hand combat takes place outside time. Here the undetermined quality both of the sum as well as of each individual event becomes evident; here the sum as well as each of its constituent parts are deformed. The partial events added up together in total exist here in endless numbers, however. The feeling for the duration of battle is so deeply distorted that it is only possible to speak of complete indeterminateness – it no longer has anything to do with the sense of a protracted or brief period of time.”(*2)
In the meantime “Tempo strozzato" could be heard on the radio. Rolf Riehm brings forth native lead which as it cools down flows around blue flowers. In the depths of the room it could be seen how a young lady produced a gigantic chewing gum bubble and then let it implode. The conversation at the next table was constantly spilling over to them: “…objectivity is after all only possible among objects!” ['talo] looked out the window. She saw a bearded old man walking by in front of the “Slippery Slope.” There was something with an hourglass printed on his T-shirt and he was carrying a sickle in his hand. The narrow neck of the hourglass was stretched across his fat belly. Now he disappeared from view.
She just caught the words “past light cone” and “future light cone” from the next table. She had to think of the man with the tight T-shirt. [maʀsɛl] said: "[pɔl] isn’t going to be coming any more" and [eitʃdʒi:] was already gathering his things together again. ['talo] had to get back to the office. Her lunch break was coming to an end.
[pɔl] Paul Virillo
[eitʃdʒi:] H. G. Wells
[maʀsɛl] Marcel Proust
rosa Hartmut Rosa
(*1) De Brevitate Vitae Seneca
(*2) Life and Fate Vasily Grossman
- Spiral galaxy in the Canes Venatici constellation (M51)
- Large Hadron Collider (Geneva 2008)
- Tic Tac
- Ouroboros (Erfurt 1735)
- Nuremberg Chronicle (1493)
- Isophotometric Atlas of Comets (Leipzig 1979)
- Round dance
For Valentina Jurtschenko
Our special thanks go to our friends in Cologne, Zurich, Basle and Lucerne who have been working with the Quartet for years and supporting it creatively and/or very concretely – if an idea once again exceeded our financial scope, or a grand piano was needed for rehearsing or a change of scene was the only thing for our overheated heads … or who simply sweetened the Quartet’s everyday life with a good meal, conversation and the feeling of being among kindred spirits. Frank Kämpfer, our indispensable partner who, at Deutschlandfunk, has repeatedly bolstered us as a midwife with the birth of, at times, rather long-winded ideas. Michael Silberhorn, whose name says it all as far as the sound of this recording is concerned, and who has always remained unflappable in the face of any and all carnival moods. Wolfgang Burat, Michael Growe and Ernst Georg Kühle, without whose grandiose cooperation we never would have seen our work come to fruition. Michael Jarrell and Rolf Riehm for the inspiring scores and their assistance while we were learning them. The Pirolo Foundation in Basle, the Rhine Energy Foundation in Cologne, the NRW Art Foundation in Düsseldorf and the Association of the Friends of the Asasello Quartet for their indispensable support of our work. And, of course, also our families and partners for their love and companionship, although we expect them to deal with the fact that we have decided on quartet playing!
Спасибо, Merci, Dziękuję, Danke, Thank you
Rostislav Kozhevnikov, Barbara Kuster, Justyna Śliwa, Wolfgang Zamastil
Cologne, July 2013