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Ben Johnston: String Quartets Nos. 1, 5 & 10

Album Summary

>Johnston, Ben : Quartet for Strings no 5
>Johnston, Ben : Quartet for Strings no 10
>Johnston, Ben : Quartet for Strings no 1 ('Nine Variations')
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This disc, with premiere recordings of Ben Johnston's first, fifth and tenth string quartets, presents his earliest and latest essays in the genre and one from roughly the middle of his output. The three pieces are highly different from one another in style, technique and expressive intent. Johnston's Nine Variations (1959) manifests his belief in the progressive nature of serialism and embraces it as a satisfying means of creating musical order. String Quartet No. 5 (1979) is one of Johnston's most impressive achievements, music of radical innovation that speaks an expressive and engaging language with a visionary intensity reminiscent of Ives. By the time he embarked on String Quartet No. 10 in 1995 his music had evolved yet again. Johnston's use of extended just intonation was a way of revivifying tonal relations in music without lapsing into a nostalgic appropriation of idioms from an earlier era, which has always seemed to him a kind of escapism, and aesthetically negligible.

"...throughout the disc, the Kepler players demonstrate a security and conviction that make this complicated music irresistible." -New York Times

"Intellectual as well as technical virtuosity are required to play the music of Ben Johnston, and in this second volume of his quartets, the Kepler Quartet continue their accomplished advocacy on his behalf. Despite the somewhat dry sound, the lucid structures and creative energy of Johnston's music continue to delight the ear and stimulate the mind" -BBC Music Magazine (BBC Music Magazine Chamber Choice - May 2011)

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wauwatosa Presbyterian Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.



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Works Details

>Johnston, Ben : Quartet for Strings no 5
  • Running Time: 13 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1979

>Johnston, Ben : Quartet for Strings no 10
  • Notes: Wauwatosa Presbyterian Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2007-08-16&2007-11-19&2008-)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1995

>Johnston, Ben : Quartet for Strings no 1 ('Nine Variations')
  • Running Time: 15 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1959