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James MacMillan (b.1959): Visions of a November Spring; Etwas zurückhaltend; For Sonny; String Quartet No. 3 / Edinburgh Quartet

Album Summary

>MacMillan, James : Etwas zuruckhaltend, for string quartet
>MacMillan, James : Quartet for Strings no 1 ("Visions of a November Spring")
>MacMillan, James : For Sonny, for string quartet
>MacMillan, James : Quartet for Strings no 3
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This disc from Delphian with the Edinburgh Quartet features chamber works by composer James MacMillan, written between 1982 and 2011, providing three snapshots of his evolving style. Influences from Wagner to folk music are heard in works that are often visionary in scope. The Edinburgh Quartet was founded in 1960 and quickly became established as one of Britain's foremost chamber ensembles.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
Quartet 3 (2007) is a three-movement abstract tone poem with undisclosed text. The opening movement is classically oriented in its structure. It opens with an ethnic-sounding melody that undergoes considerable development before it is literally recapitulated in sonata-form style. A series of disjointed fragments and lengthy silences follow as a second movement, with increasingly bizarre episodes, including a brief. These are impressive and worth your time.

The Observer, 10th August 2014
Visions of a November Spring [is] an important work of stylistic transition, its title reflecting an opening to new modes of expression, its mood at once lyrical and aggressive. The poignant miniature, For Sonny (2011), and the String Quartet No 3 (2007), at once lyrical, ecstatic and ethereal, complete this wide-ranging, vividly played recording.

MusicWeb International, 9th September 2014
The performances by the Edinburgh Quartet ... seem in so far as I can judge to be impeccably tuned and delivered ... Even when the music is at its most searing, there is always a sense of thematic development which draws the listener onwards. One looks forward with anticipation to the second volume in this series.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014
The outstanding Edinburgh Quartet deliver every detail of these sometimes complex scores with total commitment, communicating them with passion and intensity. With an excellent recorded sound, this is a superb and valuable addition to the discography of MacMillan's purely instrumental music.

International Record Review, November 2014
I am astonished by these players, by their complete immersion in MacMillan's sound-world, their nerve and by their communicative power.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: in Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh (2013-07-25_2013-07-27&2014-).



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Works Details

>MacMillan, James : Etwas zurückhaltend, for string quartet
  • Ensemble: Edinburgh Quartet
  • Notes: in Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh (2013-07-25_2013-07-27&2014-)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1982

>MacMillan, James : Quartet for Strings no 1 ("Visions of a November Spring")
  • Notes: in Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh (2013-07-25_2013-07-27&2014-)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1988/1991

>MacMillan, James : For Sonny, for string quartet
  • Notes: in Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh (2013-07-25_2013-07-27&2014-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>MacMillan, James : Quartet for Strings no 3
  • Notes: in Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh (2013-07-25_2013-07-27&2014-)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007