On Hallgato, recorded live in the Grand Hall of Budapest’s Liszt Academy, Ferenc Snetberger and the Keller Quartett, respectively Hungary’s outstanding acoustic guitarist and its foremost string quartet, are heard together and separately in a moving and organically unfolding programme. Compositions by Snetberger, Shostakovich, John Dowland and Samuel Barber, Snetberger’s “In Memory of My People”, dedicated to his Sinti and Roma forebears, is a powerful and spirited piece, both threnody and celebration. Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet, also dedicated to the victims of war, is played with great sensitivity and feeling by the Keller musicians.
Subtle arrangements of John Dowland find Snetberger with the Keller Quartett for “I saw my lady weep” and in duo with cellist Laszlo Fenyo for “Flow, my tears”.
The Keller Quartett address the yearning quality of Barber’s Molto adagio from his String Quartet op.11, and Snetberger offers a glimmer of hope with the tender solo guitar piece “Your Smile”.
The concluding “Rhapsody 1”, with Snetberger and string quintet, is a new arrangement of a radiant theme originally written by Ferenc for a film project about the Roma.
In total: a very involving and gripping album. Recorded in December 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher.