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Stefano Scodanibbio - String Quartets [Kairos Music - 2022]

Here’s a twelve-track CD bringing together four urgently seared-to-angularly scorched pieces for string Quartet from Italian composer and double bassist Stefano Scodanibbio. His compositions are both shrill, and darting- yet there is an often a keen sense of both atmospheric unease, and bounding malevolence about his work.


The release appears on Vienna based Kairos Music- coming presented in the labels house style dull digipak. On the front cover, we get a release tone fitting busy and abstract painting in red, orange, black and blue. Inside we find a stuck on twenty-seven-page booklet- in both German and English- this features writings about Scodanibbio, and the pieces presented here.

All of the works here are played by the respected London based Arditti Quartet- who for this release consisted of Irvine Arditti- violin, Ashot Sarkissjan- violin, Ralf Ehlers- violin, and Lucas Fels- cello. 

The four pieces here were composed between 1985 and 2003. The release opens with the four-part work "Visas"- each part lasts between five and eight minutes, with tone shifting between warbling sour and skittering wailing, onto broodingly simmering, and lucidly bowing angularity.

Next up we have 1999’s “Lugares que pasan – a Adolfo Castañon”- this nearing twenty-minute track moves from darting-to-baying layers of (at points) wince-inducing string saw. Onto blends of malevolent low-end hover, and high pitch wailing string slices and neck picks. 

The disc plays out with the five part work “Mas Lugares (su Madrigali di Monteverdi) – a Luciano Berio” from 2003. Where we move from the bold and dramatic weaves of sawing and jigging notation, onto almost grand and regally jaunting seesawing, through to blends of the two

Stefano Scodanibbio, who sadly passed away in the year 2012, was a composer who create urgent-yet-dramatic and at points angularly daring work. And as a release String Quartets nicely highlights the scope and often taut presence of his output. 

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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