Fuga Magna
Alessandro Scarlatti - Ludwig van Beethoven - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Johann Sebastian Bach - Johann Gottlieb Goldberg - Valentin Haussmann

Fuga Magna

Armida Quartett

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085533800
Catalog number: AVI 8553380
Releasedate: 07-07-17
- ARMIDA QUARTETT is one of European’s youngleading quartets

- World Premières of some of the pieces never recorded before

- A pure Fugue program has never been played by any other Quartets

The act of thinking and composing in counterpoint – in fugues – has reigned as the supreme musical discipline ever since Western music emerged around the year 1200 from the shadows of purely oral transmission to be codified in writing, initially in mensural notation.

Our seven-league-boot journey across the realm of fugue begins with the two earliest published German works in the genre for instrumental ensemble from the year 1602. The first of them has ethereal motifs which it rather cautiously explores, whereas the second is based on the folk song O Nachbar
Roland, mein Herz ist voller Pein (which Samuel Scheidt arranged as a magnificent canzone for strings in 1621). Haussmann’s Fugae are written “for all kinds of instruments”: idiomatic passagework for violin is thus entirely absent here, and only emerged as a stylistic trait in the course of the 17th century.

Alessandro Scarlatti is the composer of four sonatas that are to be performed senza cembalo, as he specifies, and which are often referred to as the first string quartets. The animated movements are complex counterpoint constructions; the middle movements are tortuous harmonic meanders brimming with ligature et durezze; the final movements are all short, ironic minuets with the two violin parts in unison.

Winning the ARD International Competition in 2012 (also taking the audience prize and six other special prizes) propelled the Armida Quartet on to the international concert platform. Between 2014-16 the Quartet participated on the UK’s BBC New Generation Artists scheme affording them many concerts broadcast across the BBC network including their BBC Proms debut. Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie nominated the Quartet on to the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) Rising Stars-Series during the 2016/2017 season.

Founded in Berlin in 2006, the Armida Quartet took its name from an opera by Haydn, the “father of the string quartet”. The ensemble has studied with members of the Artemis Quartet, Reinhard Goebel and Rainer Schmidt, also drawing musical inspiration from Alfred Brendel, Eberhard Feltz, Walter Levin and Natalia Prischepenko.

The Quartet performs in Europe’s major concert halls including Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, London, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Cité de la Musique Paris, Cologne’s Philharmonie, and Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts amongst many others. They make their debut tour to USA and collaborate on projects with Kit Armstrong, Martin Fröst, Maximilian Hornung, Jörg Widmann, Antje Weithaas and Tabea Zimmermann.

For CAvi-music the Quartet’s debut CD featuring works of Bartók, Ligeti, Kurtág was selected by the German Record Critics’ Award for its critics’ choice list. A Mozart CD was followed by a Beethoven and Shostakovich disc released in 2016, the year of the Quartet’s tenth anniversary.

First prize winners of the Geneva Competition 2011 they regularly give masterclasses throughout the world.