Early Release – One Month Before Stereo CD Release Date
In their 7th album at NativeDSD Music, the Engegård Quartet performs Kvandal’s Complete String Quartets in Stereo DSD and DXD. This is a DSD Exclusive, Not Available on SACD title. Arriving 1 month before its release on Stereo CD. This recording has been made possible with financial support from Arts Council Norway.
Johan Kvandal’s String Quartets Nos. 1–3 have already been recorded, but here we are also introduced to his other works for this classical ensemble. The Engegård Quartet are ideal interpreters of these often challenging works spanning almost four decades of the composer’s life. Thus they show the artistic development of one of the foremost Norwegian composers of the post-war generation.
Johan Kvandal was born in Kristiania, soon to be Oslo, in 1919. His father was the composer David Monrad Johansen, who, inspired by Edvard Grieg, strived to combine a national idiom with modern developments in European music. His son can be said to have followed a similar path from the outset, but his musical output is as a whole more European than Norwegian. Through his parents, Kvandal was familiar with the artistic milieu in Oslo and spent summers in peaceful Østerdalen. He studied organ, conducting and above all composition in Oslo, Vienna (with Joseph Marx) and later in Paris. Here, from 1952 until 1954, he received lasting impressions from Nadia Boulanger and her circle of students and became familiar with the music of luminaries like Bela Bartók, Igor Stravinsky and Olivier Messiaen. His modernistic style may at times sound quite dissonant, but he steered clear of dodecaphony and serialism. He continued to compose in (neo-)classical forms, feeling that they were by no means a spent force. His second and third string quartets and the two Norwegian Dances date from his post-Paris period.
Johan Kvandal, whose outward appearance was rather timid, was a surprisingly versatile composer with a rich output, who wrote for a wide variety of ensembles: solo works, songs, choral works, concertos and orchestral compositions, including a symphony. His biggest work, the opera Mysteries op. 75 (1993), is based on Knut Hamsun’s novel of the same title. Kvandal died in Oslo in 1999, at the age of 79.
Arvid Engegård – Violin
Dorothee Appelhans – Violin
Juliet Jopling – Viola
Jan Clemens Carlsen – Cello
Total time: 01:13:45
DSD 512 fs, DSD 256 fs, DSD 128 fs, DSD 64 fs, DXD 24 Bit, FLAC 192 kHz, FLAC 96 kHz
This recording has been made possible with financial support from Arts Council Norway.
Thomas Wolden (DXD), Tom Caulfield (DXD to DSD Transfers)
|Original Recording Format|
Grorud Church in Oslo, Norway on March 15-17, 2021
|Release Date||January 13, 2023|
The string quartets of Norwegian composer Johan Kvandal (1919 – 1999) are challenging. Spanning over 40 years, these quartets have been performed and recorded a number of times, but they present challenges of interpretation and technical skill in performance. This recording by the Engegård Quartet present them with such freshness, such elan, such emotional depth and such incisive technical skill that they rise to the top of the various other performances I’ve heard. These are very special performances, filled with the elegance and beauty of performance that I’ve come to know from the Engegård Quartet…
Highly recommended for the excellence of Kvandal’s music, the superb performances by the Engegård, and the ravishing sonics captured so beautifully by Lawo recording and mastering engineer Thomas Wolden. Well done!
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