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York Bowen (1884-1961): String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3; Phantasy Quintet for bass clarinet & strings / Timothy Lines, bass clarinet

> String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 41 - I. Allegro assai
> String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 41 - II. Poco lento
> String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 41 - III. Finale: Presto
> String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 46b - I. Allegro moderato e semplice
> String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 46b - II. Poco lento e espressivo
> String Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Op. 46b - III. Finale: Allegro assai con spirito
> Phantasy-Quintet, Op. 93 - Phantasy-Quintet, Op. 93

Album Summary

>Bowen, York : Quartet for Strings no 2 in D minor, Op. 41
>Bowen, York : Quartet for Strings no 3 in G major, Op. 46b
>Bowen, York : Phantasy-Quintet, for bass clarinet & string quartet, Op. 93
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Described by Saint-Saëns as 'the most remarkable of the young British composers', York Bowen was widely known as a pianist and as a composer, his fame reaching its zenith in the years immediately preceding the First World War. The writer and composer Thomas Dunhill described Bowen's chamber music as 'an essentially healthy and breezy phase in modern art'. This is especially true of the 1922 Carnegie Trust Award-winning Second Quartet, and while both quartets are based on clear-cut classical models the Third is more elusive and intimate in feeling, revealing the composer's rarely displayed private side. The atmospheric Phantasy-Quintet provides a rare opportunity to hear the beauty of the bass clarinet in a truly eloquent and expressive soloist capacity.



Reviews

Charming chamber works
York Bowen's first string quartet is lost, so this disc represents his total output in the genre.

The two surviving quartets were written within a year of each other, yet show a surprising amount of differences.

String Quartet No. 2 in D minor, Op. 41 is a somewhat breezy work, written somewhere between the English pastoral style of early Vaughan Williams and the languid style of late Ravel. By contrast, the Third String Quartet, Op. 46b is more solidly English in character. Further, it has a wistful quality to it, similar to that found in Bax.

While neither quartet represents the ultimate expression of the genre, both are well-constructed. Each unfolds in an orderly fashion, with charming melodies that keep the listener engaged.

York Bowen was but one of many English composers to enter the Cobbett Phantasy Competition, submitting a single-movement work that flow freely from one section to the other. Bowen's is a little different, in that it's for bass clarinet plus string quartet. The bass clarinet isn't normally considered a solo instrument, but after hearing Bowen's Phantasy, I wonder why not.

Bowen creates lines for the instrument that take advantage of its rich, mellow tone as well as its agility. A beautiful addition to the scant repertoire available to the instrument.

Submitted on 09/12/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Bowen, York : Quartet for Strings no 2 in D minor, Op. 41
  • Ensemble: Archaeus Quartet
  • Notes: Recital Room, Tonbridge School, Kent (12/16/2001-12/20/2001)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Bowen, York : Quartet for Strings no 3 in G major, Op. 46b
  • Notes: Recital Room, Tonbridge School, Kent (12/16/2001-12/20/2001)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Bowen, York : Phantasy-Quintet, for bass clarinet & string quartet, Op. 93
  • Performer: Timothy Lines (Clarinet)
  • Notes: Recital Room, Tonbridge School, Kent (12/16/2001-12/20/2001)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music