During 1991 and 1992, the Arditti Quartet recorded works by
York Höller, Robert H.P. Platz, Mattias Spahlinger and Walter
Zimmermann, and released them under the Auvidis Montaigne
label on a 1994 CD entitled, “From Germany.”
The first work, “Antiphon” is a work for a string quartet and
an electronically transformed tape of a string quartet. It is a
fascinating combination with striking results, superbly recorded
by Montaigne with an interesting use of “old” music, near the
end of the piece.
The second work, “Zeitstrahl,” by Robert H.P. Platz was
written during 1986. The title means “time ray,” and is in six
movements, all of which are marked by extreme contrasts in
dynamics and technique.
The third piece, “Apo Do,” by Mattias Spahlinger was written
in 1982, and is in three movements. It has a radical, often
“textural” approach to making sound, with much use of silence.
Once again, extremes in dynamic range are employed,
thereby making superb recording engineering essential.
These sounds can sometimes be akin to “nails across a
The fourth and final piece, “Festina lente,” is a 1990
composition by Walter Zimmermann. It is in four movements.
The first movement appears to be a study in sustained long
notes, followed by a brief second, more lively movement.
The third movement is almost reminiscent of Morton
Feldman (1926-1987) in some ways, and is followed by a
menacing, fourth movement that involves slow glissandi
against pizzicati notes.
Regardless of what you think of this type of music, you can
rest assured that it is receiving a good rendition in the hands
of the Ardittis! Their motto could be “To boldly play what no
one else will (or possibly “can”) play!”