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CD Review

Lex van Delden

Complete String Quartets

  • String Quartet I, Op. 43 (1954)
  • String Quartet II, Op. 86 (1965)
  • String Quartet III "Willink Tetraptych", Op. 106 (1979)
  • Musica di Catasto: Intrada e Passacaglia Op. 108 (1981) *
* Quirijn van Regteren Altena, double bass
Utrecht String Quartet
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6031436-2 67m DDD
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For those being introduced for the first time to van Delden's music, the message is not to hesitate. Here is a composer full of a strong gravitas of anguish and suffering but in the end, the language is extremely accessible and the message comes through with lucid vigour.

Lex van Delden (1919-1988) was a Dutch Jew who was sucked into the inexorable horrors of the Holocaust. He was left bereft of most of his family and during the early 1950's, he also had to deal with a marriage breakdown.

His creative impulse was further hampered by the massive upheavals in Dutch musical life during the thirty years or so after the war. Although having suffered almost total oblivion by the 1970's, van Delden's music speaks a powerful language as can be observed in these works for string quartet.

A very satisfying CD, which boasts excellent sound and fine presentation with versatile performances by the Utrecht String Quartet in the bargain.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech