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Jacques Hétu (1938-2010): Complete Chamber Works for Strings - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2; Sérenade; Sextet / Timothy Hutchins, flute

Album Summary

>Hétu, Jacques : Quartet for Strings no 1, Op. 19
>Hétu, Jacques : Quartet for Strings no 2, Op. 50
>Hétu, Jacques : Scherzo for string quartet, Op. 54
>Hétu, Jacques : Adagio & Rondo, for string quartet, Op. 3/1a
>Hétu, Jacques : Sérénade, for flute & string quartet, Op. 45
>Hétu, Jacques : Sextet, for 2 violins, 2 violas & 2 cellos, Op. 71
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Highly respected as an educator, Jacques Hétu was also one of the most frequently performed of all contemporary Canadian composers. His earlier hallmarks of polytonality and harmonic tension were rooted in European influences, and as his work matured it became increasingly lyrical and virtuosic. The First String Quartet sees Hétu's emerging style combine 20th-century techniques with a neo-romantic harmonic language, while the more personal Second Quartet concludes with a hauntingly beautiful Andante in memory of the composer's mother. The lyrical Sérénade evokes the tranquility of a starry summer's night. Hétu's witty Adagio and Rondo was his first foray into string quartet writing, while the masterful Sextet was his final chamber work for strings.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Quartet 2, more unconventional in form, has three movements with a single vivace between two andantes. Both the andantes are elegiac, the second a seven-minute memorial for the composer's mother, who died shortly before Hetu began writing the work. Four shorter works, all of them well worth hearing, fill out the program. From 1960 is a 9- minute, two-part Adagio and Rondo (for string quartet) that shows Hetu evolving the language he would later use in his full-length quartets. Scherzo, from 1992, is also for string quartet. Its six minutes comprise a short slow introduction followed by a longer allegro with rapid quiverings and swirls teasingly. Prelude, Nocturne, and Rondo - total ten minutes and offer a pleasing variety of mood to complement the timbral mix of solo woodwind and string consort. Finally there's the 2004 String Sextet, a single 12-minute span encompassing an introduction and six variations. This is Hetu's last chamber work for string ensemble and his summing-up farewell to the medium.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Multimedia Music Room, Schulich School of Music, McGill (05/06/2012-05/09/2012).



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Works Details

>Hétu, Jacques : Quartet for Strings no 1, Op. 19
  • Ensemble: New Orford String Quartet
  • Notes: Multimedia Music Room, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (05/06/2012-05/09/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1972

>Hétu, Jacques : Quartet for Strings no 2, Op. 50
  • Notes: Multimedia Music Room, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (05/06/2012-05/09/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1991

>Hétu, Jacques : Scherzo for string quartet, Op. 54
  • Notes: Multimedia Music Room, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (05/06/2012-05/09/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992

>Hétu, Jacques : Adagio & Rondo, for string quartet, Op. 3/1a
  • Notes: Multimedia Music Room, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (05/06/2012-05/09/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1960

>Hétu, Jacques : Sérénade, for flute & string quartet, Op. 45
  • Performer: Timothy Hutchins (Flute)
  • Notes: Multimedia Music Room, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (05/06/2012-05/09/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1988

>Hétu, Jacques : Sextet, for 2 violins, 2 violas & 2 cellos, Op. 71
  • Performers: Colin Carr (Cello); Steven Dann (Viola)
  • Notes: Multimedia Music Room, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (05/06/2012-05/09/2012)
  • Running Time: 12 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2004