From the Tesla Quartet:
Inspiration for new music can come from many directions, but it is often music of the past that provides the impetus for new works. In fact, the extremely unique and divergent musical voices of contemporary composers are aptly mirrored in the composers of the Renaissance, an age of experimentation in expressive extremes. Carlo Gesualdo was perhaps one of the most extreme composers of his generation with his use of intensely emotional and highly chromatic gestural word painting in his books of madrigals. Inspired by his study of Gesualdo’s “Sospirava il mio core,” Matthias Pintscher’s 4º Quartetto d’Archi “Ritratto di Gesualdo” explores the limits of musical expression, creating musical gestures in an almost theatrical, narrative fashion. Best known for his trilogy of Roman tone poems and suites of Ancient Airs and Dances, Ottorino Respighi held a deep affection for the music of the Renaissance and Baroque, particularly of lute music of the 16th and 17th centuries. These influences can be heard, blended with a luxurious post-Romantic lyricism, in his String Quartet in D Major of 1907, a full decade before the neoclassical movement would take hold.
Works on “Past or Present?” include:
Gesualdo, Selected Madrigals
Matthias Pintscher, 4º Quartetto d’Archi “Ritratto di Gesualdo”
Respighi, String Quartet in D Major