Tigran Mansurian: String Quartets. Rosamunde Quartet. ECM New Series

TIGRAN MANSURIAN. STRING QUARTETS. ROSAMUNDE QUARTET. ECM NEW SERIES
by Stephen Pettitt

Sunday Times (London)
September 4, 2005, Sunday

Tigran Mansurian

Both the first and second string quartets by the Lebanese-born Armenian
composer Tigran Mansurian are predominantly slow and mournful pieces,
each completed in 1984 and written in memory of a recently dead
friend. The language is direct, but Mansurian is not of any formulaic
minimalist school. Rather, his structures are built on a richness of
harmony and melodic expression that allies him to late Beethoven. Both
works – each cast in three movements -and the eloquent and dark single
movement Testament, dedicated to Manfred Eicher (the man behind ECM)
and composed just last year, are played with miraculously sustained
poise by the Rosamunde Quartet.

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