Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
in
 
  Classical Music Home > Music News

The Isasi Quartet Records Volume 1 of Andrés Isasi’s String Quartets

March 25, 2010

Between 30 November and 3 December 2009 in the Château d’Arcangues (France), The Isasi Quartet—Anna Bohigas (1st violin), Enekoitz Martinez (2nd violin), Karsten Dobers (viola), Teresa Valente (cello)—made world première recordings of String Quartet No. 1 Op. 11 in G major (1911) and String Quartet No. 5 Op. 32 in C minor (1921) of Andrés Isasi (1890–1940), to be released on Naxos 8.572463.



The Isasi Quartet in Château d’Arcangues (France)


The Isasi Quartet’s violist, Karsten Dobers, writes:

‘For the first CD recording of the complete string quartets of Andrés Isasi we had the good fortune of being generously welcomed by the Marquis of Arcangues, himself a passionate music lover, into his beautiful chateau near Biaritz. We used the 18th-century music room, where musicians such as Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Arthur Rubinstein and Jacques Thibaud had given recitals.

‘During the recording there, we could feel centuries of accumulated history and were surrounded by memories, with photos of famous people such as Frank Sinatra, Marcello Mastroiani, John Cocteau, and a beautiful picture of Marie Laurencin [the Parisian artist who also designed stage sets for Diaghilev’s Ballets russes, and for the Comédie française in 1928. She also illustrated books, such as André Gide’s La Tentative Amoureuse and Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland.—Ed]

‘The Basque/Spanish composer, himself Marqués de Barambio, was born in Bilboa in 1890. He was one of the few Spanish composers of his era to have preferred studying in Germany rather than in Paris. At the age of 19, he settled in Berlin to study with Engelbert Humperdinck, who twice weekly warmly welcomed him into his home where he met Humperdinck’s daughter Edith. I suspect that Isasi fell in love with her, because the first two movements of his First String Quartet, Op. 11, composed in 1910–11 in Berlin, emanate feelings of kindness, love and a refined sensuality.

‘Humperdinck’s teaching was marked by the post-Romantic German style and he introduced to his student the large musical forms of the sonata, symphonic poem and symphony. Having returned to Bilbao when the First World War broke out, and remaining there until the end of his life, Andrés Isasi would remain faithful to this Germanic sensibility. His String Quartet No. 5 Op. 32, composed in 1921 in Bilbao, is dedicated to Johannes Brahms. All the musical markings for Isasi’s six string quartets are written in German, not in Spanish! While the Basque composers Usandizaga and Guridi received a warm welcome for their works, which were inspired by the lyric theatre and popular Basques melodies, Isasi continued to compose complex works free of all folk influence but with many German reminiscences. The rigour, subtlety and complexity of his style was only with difficulty understood in the deeply nationalistic Basque musical milieu. In his lifetime, Isasi only ever heard two of his six string quartets performed.



Karsten Dobers (viola)


‘Installed in his great house, in 1916 he married a woman who shared his religious convictions, and maintained a very withdrawn life. Owing to his Isasi’s profound faith, this spiritual dimension can be felt throughout his work.

‘When I discovered Isasi’s string quartets, I immediately felt that they had something to say. As I became familiar with his work and the history of his life, a curious feeling of devotion and complicity grew in me, as if Andrés Isasi had been a parent or a close friend; the Basque composer with his love of German culture and me, a German living in Basque country and in love with its southern sensibility.

‘I’m look forward very much to recording for Naxos further volumes of the complete string quartets of Andrés Isasi!’



Composer Andrés Isasi


 

Texte française:

Le Quatuor d’Isasi Enregistre Volume 1 de Quatuors à cordes d’Andrés Isasi

Karsten Dobers, altiste du Quatuor Isasi, écrit:

‘Pour l’enregistrement du premier CD de l’intégrale des quatuors à cordes d’Andrés Isasi, nous avons eu la chance d’être généreusement accueillis par le Marquis d’Arcangues, lui-même passionné de musique, dans son beau Château près de Biarritz. Avant nous, dans le salon de musique 18e, des musiciens tels que Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Arthur Rubinstein, Jacques Thibaud ont donné des récitals.

‘Durant l’enregistrement nous pouvions ressentir des siècles d’histoire accumulés dans ces lieux, nous étions entourés de souvenirs, de photos de célébrités telles que Frank Sinatra, Marcello Mastroiani, Jean Cocteau, et d’un beau tableau de Marie Laurencin.

‘Le compositeur basque/espagnol Andrés Isasi était également Marquis, né à Bilbao en 1890. Il faisait partie des rares compositeurs espagnols de son époque ayant préféré aller étudier en Allemagne plutôt qu’à Paris. A l’âge de 19 ans, il s’installe à Berlin pour étudier avec Engelbert Humperdinck qui l’accueille très chaleureusement 2 fois par semaine chez lui. C’est là où Andrés Isasi fait la connaissance de Edith, la fille de Humperdinck. Je soupçonne qu’il en est tombé amoureux car il lui a dédié son quatuor N°1 op.11, composé en 1910/11 à Berlin, quatuor à programme autour d’une histoire amoureuse d’où il émane dans les 2 premiers mouvements une tendresse, un sentiment amoureux et une sensualité raffinée évidents. L’enseignement de Humperdinck était marqué par le style post-romantique allemand et il fit connâitre à son élève les grandes formes musicales de la sonate, du poème symphonique et de la symphonie.

Une fois retourné à Bilbao lorsque la première guerre mondiale éclate, et jusqu’à la fin de sa vie, Andrés Isasi restera fidèle à cette sensibilité post-romantique germanique. D’ailleurs son quatuor N°5 op.32 composé en 1921 à Bilbao est dédié à Johannes Brahms. Toutes les annotations musicales des 6 quatuors à cordes sont écrites en allemand et non pas en espagnol! Alors que les compositeurs basques Usandizaga et Guridi reçoivent un accueil chaleureux de leurs oeuvres inspirées par le théatre lyrique et les mélodies populaires basques, Isasi continue à composer des oeuvres complexes dégagées de toute influence folklorique, mais pleines de réminiscences allemandes. La rigueur, la subtilité et la complexité de son style sont difficilement comprises par les milieux musicaux basques, baignant dans le nationalisme. De son vivant, Isasi n’a pu entendre que 2 de ses 6 quatuors.

‘Installé dans sa grande maison, il se marie en 1916 à une femme partageant ses convictions religieuses, et mène une vie très retirée. Profondément croyant, cette dimension spirituelle se ressent dans l’ensemble de son oeuvre.

‘Quand j’ai découvert les quatuors à cordes de Isasi, j’ai toute de suite eu l’intuition qu’ils avaient quelque chose à part. Au fur-à-mesure que je découvrais son oeuvre et l’histoire de sa vie, curieusement je sentais grandir en moi un sentiment d’attachement et de complicité, comme si Andrés Isasi eut été un proche parent ou un ami. Le compositeur basque avec son amour pour la culture allemande et moi, l’allemand vivant en Pays Basque et amoureux de cette sensibilité méridionale.

‘Je me réjouis d’enregistrer bientôt les Vol. II et Vol. IIII de l’intégrale des quatuors à cordes de Andrés Isasi pour Naxos!’










 
    2014
     Archive
 
    2007
    Archives
 
    Archives
 
    2014
     Archive
 
    2014
     Archive



Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
6:17:22 PM, 2 August 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
-208-
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.