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Dazzling and furious passion

by Jaani Länsiö

It is difficult to imagine a more interesting premise: the Kamus Quartet, who have been in the same lineup since the group was established, playing suave and energetic chamber music by Esa-Pekka Salonen, György Ligeti and Benjamin Britten.

A full disc of sonorous string music is what the Kamus Quartet promise, and with 15 years of experience under their belts, that is exactly what they deliver.

These four have a seamless consensus as to what they wish to explore within each of the works featured. Salonen’s Homunculus is primitive and rugged, as befits a work inspired by the theories of the alchemists of the ancient world. Out of its 14-minute duration, about 10 minutes are spent in a feverish search for a direction and a resting place.

Ligeti and Britten, by contrast, call on the quartet to translate micro-level actions into grand transitions. The quartet performs with a dazzling and furious passion; every moment of every piece is solid and meaningful. This calls for serious alertness on the part of the listener.

Salonen: Homunculus for String Quartet
Ligeti: String Quartet Nr. 1
Britten: String Quartet Nr. 3 Op. 94

Alba ABCD 409

Kamus Quartet's Homunculus won the Emma Award 2017 in the classical album category. See also the reviews on the Folk Album of the Year and the Jazz Album of the Year.