MIC's Listent to Norway series continues with the Arditti quartet's 'Ultima vol.1'
The Arditti quartet is perhaps the foremost specimen of the classic string quartet at large on the music scene today. Since their formation in 1973 they have performed over a thousand concerts and made 130 records. Their artistic zeal is manifest in their relentless quest for perfection and their willingness to let this quest find its substantiality in ever new works and composers. Thus the quartet is continuously involved with contemporary composers and unconventional projects.
They have been bestowed with abundances of prizes, among them some of the most prestigious ones attainable in the world.
On the record here presented they perform a selection of works by contemporary Norwegian composers, a project that came to pass under the auspices of the Ultima festival of contemporary music, which aims at exposing the truly exceptional in the world of contemporary music.
The composers represented are all among the most successful of Norwegian contemporary composers, they are: Ragnhild Berstad, whose “Tourema” –the first track on this album- was premiered by Arditti at the Ultima festival in 1999, Jon Øivind Næss with the piece “Beware of Darkness” (after a George Harrison song), Sven Lyder Kahrs -his contribution also premiered by Arditti at Ultima (in 2000), and Rolf Wallin whose wide use of computers –with specially written software- has resulted in a piece which displays the full range of the Arditti quartet; from close affinity to utter alienation regarding the electronic elements.