Ermano Maggini (1931-1991) - Comment to edition 7-9

The String Quartets

Canto VII (1983/1984)

Canto XIV (1985/86)

Canto XXI (Ultimo Canto) (1990)

At the close of his life, Ermano Maggini (1931-1991) wrote three string quartets over a period of seven years. The Gewandhaus-Quartet of Leipzig gave them the world premières. In 1983-84, Maggini composed his first string quartet: Canto VII, containing the movements: Lento misterioso, Con fuoco, Lento con anima, Martellato con fuoco, Piu mosso pesante.
This was followed in 1985-1986 by Canto XIV for String Quartet with the movements: Lento con anima, Determinato, Lento appassionato.
In 1990, Ermano Maggini ended this major cycle of canti with Canto XXI for String Quartet, his Ultimo Canto of great inner character and beauty with the movements: Lento delicato, Agitato, Lento con anima. This piece again vividly encapsulates Maggini’s striving for a superiority of the subtle harmonic metabolism. Ermano Maggini valued the form of the string quartet as the pinnacle of chamber music composition and approached this form from two angles: firstly the large scale of the orchestral works, and secondly the works for solo instruments, i.e. the single part. This also includes his preoccupation with compositions for solo cello, spanning almost twenty years and starting with the first canti. All these works reveal a mystical intensity, a transcending potential.
With the premieres of the string quartets within these concert series from 1997 to 2002 and until the recordings of these works in collaboration with the Fondazione Ermano Maggini Intragna and Radio Svizzera di lingua italiana (RSI) Rete2, the Leipzig Gewandhaus-Quartet repeatedly manifested its lasting interest in the musical creations of Ermano Maggini.
On 14 December 1997 Canto XIV was premiered in Zürich (Kleiner Tonhallesaal) and broadcast by DRS2 Radio Studio Basel. The second performance took place in the Leipzig Gewandhaus. On 28 June 1998 Canto XXI (Ultimo Canto) was performed in Lugano-Gentilino (Ceresio Estate) for the first time ever. Three years later, on 21 January 2001, Ermano Maggini's Canto VII was premiered by the Gewandhaus-Quartet in the Leipzig Gewandhaus (Mendelssohn-Saal) and registered lateron. Cf. the recordings in June 1998 and March 2002 in the Radiostudio Lugano, a co-production by Fondazione Ermano Maggini with RSI Rete2 Lugano.\ The CD Jecklin Edition JX 317-2 Szene Schweiz 2000 contains Canto XIV and Canto XXI and is supplemented by the orchestral work Canto XVI and Urakami per shakuhachi.
The CD Jecklin Edition JS 319-2 Szene Schweiz 2004 contains all three string quartets recorded by the Leipzig Gewandhaus-Quartet. See discography and list of works in this publication.

Evi Kliemand 2009, Fondazione Ermano Maggini Intragna

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