Bartók: String Quartet No. 4
His six string quartets are all unruly children and most of all the fourth. So much so that you hardly notice its perfect design and balance. Here he blows away dust and cobwebs with inexhaustible energy, but when the dust settles, the contours of the motifs appear all the clearer. There are remarkable elements here, such as the second movement’s subdued buzzing in the beehive, and the fourth movement’s plucked strings in odd rhythms. Bartók was and remained Bartók.
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