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Glass: String Quartets Nos. 1-4

Album Summary

>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("Company")
>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 3 ("Mishima")
>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 1
>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 4 ("Buczak")
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Although Philip Glass came late to the string quartet, his contribution to the genre has since become a significant one. This disc features the first four of his five quartets, ranging from the uncharacteristic yet fascinating sound-world of the 'First', through the compact dimensions of the subsequent two (themselves derived from theatre and film scores). The more expansive manner of his 'Fourth Quartet' makes allusions to the formidable string quartet heritage, in particular those of Schubert and Dvorak.

"Stripped of Glass's familiar thudding keyboards and ethereal voices, yet inhabiting that same oscillating sound world, these quartets have their own beguiling power...Admirably played by the Carduccis and at budget price." -The Observer

"...this CD has some beautiful and moving inventions...The soft dissonant tracery of the early First Quartet is an intriguing surprise...The Carducci Quartet's performances are a marvel of sensitivity, and the recorded sound has a lovely soft glow." -Sunday Telegraph ****

"By performing these works with an intense and focused detachment, the Carduccis allow the music simply to speak for itself. They also get it right on the only work which demands a degree of emotional intensity - the early, proto-minimalist String Quartet No. 1" -Gramophone Magazine

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Holy Innocents Church, Highnam, Gloucestershire, UK (12/08/2008-12/10/2008).



Reviews

Quartets by Glass: What a delightful surprise!
While I am not a rabid Philip Glass fan, I do enjoy his music and believe him to be an important composer of the last third century. But this recording of four string quartets by Glass has taken me quite by surprise. It is almost as though writing for string quartet elicited from the composer a care for the qualities and capabilities of the ensemble that makes this music very appealing to me. I was less enamored of the first quartet which dates from 1966 and struck me as music that could have been written for any combination of instruments, almost begging for a Webern-like woodwind treatment. But the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quartets, written between 1983 and 1989, found me entirely convinced by this music qua string quartet. Each made me wish it would go on longer than it did, very much the way Schubert sometimes does. I often found myself thinking of Schubert as I listened, not because the music sounds like Schubert, perhaps because Glass seems very comfortable in his skin with these pieces in a way that recalls Schubert to mind when he is at his most eloquent. The Carducci String Quartet play wonderfully well and with great tonal sensitivity. They too seem to be responding to the quality of the writing for their combination of instruments, their tempi and balances are perfection, and the music at their hands has life, direction and great subtlety. The recording itself is outstanding. There is a compelling, sometimes caressing, physical presence about it that envelopes the listener, very beautiful, very comforting. I don't believe I have enjoyed a performance by a string quartet this much in a very long time. Another winning compact disc from NAXOS American Classics.
Submitted on 07/13/10 by Leni Bogat 
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Works Details

>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("Company")
  • Notes: Holy Innocents Church, Highnam, Gloucestershire, UK (12/08/2008-12/10/2008)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1983

>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 3 ("Mishima")
  • Notes: Holy Innocents Church, Highnam, Gloucestershire, UK (12/08/2008-12/10/2008)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1985

>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 1
  • Notes: Holy Innocents Church, Highnam, Gloucestershire, UK (12/08/2008-12/10/2008)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1966

>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 4 ("Buczak")
  • Notes: Holy Innocents Church, Highnam, Gloucestershire, UK (12/08/2008-12/10/2008)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1989