• Benet Casablancas
  • String Quartet nº 4 - "Widmung" (2017)

  • Unión Musical Ediciones (World)
  • vn.vn.va.vc
    • 7th February 2025, Teatre Principal, Sabadell, Spain
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Programme Note

Widmung was written in winter 2016-17 as a commission by Quartet Casals supported by CNDM (National Centre for the Dissemination of Music, part of the Spanish Ministry of Culture.) The title means dedication in German in order to stress that this new quartet (the fifth by the composer) is dedicated to the admired friends of Quartet Casals. The title is in German because the work was conceived to be premiered together with the complete Beethoven’s quartets programmed by them during season 2017-2018. There are not plenty of works with this title, one of the most prominent ones is the Lied by Schumann (the one opening the Myrten cycle) and it adds another motivation of personal and subliminal character for the election of the title. The work of about twelve minutes written in a single movement includes several reminiscences and allusions (not real quotes) to the Andante con moto, ma non troppo of string quartet Op. 130, more precisely to the mysterious motive of the half note opening it and to its consecutive incidences (sudden detentions, always changing and evolutive harmonization, which articulate the whole movement and originate its most visionary passages.) Widmung points to a ternary disposition presided by a slow introduction sealed by a conclusive stretta, collapsing and extinguishing over the note B-flat major, the same opening Op. 130 written in that tonality. The course of the work gives place to noticeable contrasts between contemplative sections, lyric, static and suspensive – as means to standstills – and those with a livelier tempo, playful and occasionally festive and close to a slight scherzoso character, which dominates the Andante con moto of Op. 130 setting a contrast between homophonic textures, elaborated in terms of timbre, and great developments of polyphonic density, origin to powerful climatic processes. The Beethoven motto will be evoked numerous times in Widmung as a great homage and clic-l’oeil to Op. 130 (as other subtle characteristics as perpetuum mobiles, ostinati, little surprises, pizzicatti or unisons, to be discovered by the listener) gaining a particular relevance in crucial moments and integrating in the composer’s personal code without losing continuity and discursive fluency.