Hanns Eisler: Music

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String Quartet RealAudio Buy
Kammerensemble de Zürich, directed by Christoph Keller.

From a review by Reinhard Schulz for a performance of this work by the Leipzig String Quartet: "Living in exile in the United States, [Eisler] was cut off from direct agitprop implementation of his music in Germany. The composer of the great symphonic-oratorio works German Symphony and Lenin understood the string quartet as an exercise in pure composition and perhaps as a self-administered examination: in 1938 he resumed his teaching of composition in New York after having abandoned it temporarily in 1935. The movements are distinguished by a dense polyphonic texture and thematic work of central importance. Twelve-tone technique offered the basic orientation, and both movements are based on the same row.... We find [Eisler's unique] tone in the plastic rhythm, in the thoroughgoing speech quality, and in the noticeably restless forward drive of the two movements. Even what seems to be Eisler's most withdrawn, pure chamber music is not without its agitprop strain."

Music sample © 1998 Accord. Review © 1996 cpo.

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