Latest USQ- CD release

Latest USQ- CD release

The MDG label recently released a new CD by the Utrecht String Quartet featuring two works by the relatively unknown composer Georges Catoire. The Utrecht String Quartet continues their repertoire-line of Russian music for string quartet.

The Utrecht String Quartet was invited to the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie to play a programme with music by Glazunov, Stravinsky, Lourié and  for the Utrecht players a new composer: Georges Catoire. Unfortunately, the concert was first postponed due to COVID-19 and cancelled a year later. In the meantime, however, the  Utrecht musicians were so impressed by this Russian with French roots that it was decided to dedicate a CD to him.

Georges Catoire played an important role in the development of Russian music around 1900. The contemporary of Strauss and Mahler had his musical roots in the 19th century. However, his music contains expressive harmonies and sophisticated rhythmic structures, as a beautiful farewell to the

fin de siècle. His musical inspiration flows freely and unpredictably, with a sweet melancholy that is reminiscent of ancient Russia.

The Catoire family emigrated from Lorraine to Russia in 1825, and by the end

of the century to the elite of Moscow. Georges studied mathematics and - after encouragement by Tchaikovsky - composition in Berlin and St Petersburg. From 1917 until his unexpected death in 1926, he taught at the Moscow Conservatory.

For this CD, the Utrecht String Quartet sought collaboration with German-Russian pianist Anna Zassimova. Among other things, she previously recorded all of Catoire's piano works and also wrote a biography of the composer after thorough archival research in Moscow and Berlin and with the cooperation of the

heirs of the composer. Her enthusiasm for Catoire has greatly inspired the Utrecht String Quartet.