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Edward Cowie (b.1943): In Flight Music; String Quartets Nos. 3-5 / Kreutzer Quartet

Audio Samples

  1. String Quartet No. 3 "In Flight Music": I. Hang-gliders (Stanwell Park, NSW Australia) $0.99 on iTunes
  2. String Quartet No. 3 "In Flight Music": II. Vapour Trails $0.99 on iTunes
  3. String Quartet No. 3 "In Flight Music": III. Hummingbird Hawk Moths (Maurens, France) $0.99 on iTunes
  4. String Quartet No. 3 "In Flight Music": IV. Raptor Thermals, Mainly Eagles (Dordogne, France) $0.99 on iTunes
  5. String Quartet No. 4
  6. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 1, Grey Heron $0.99 on iTunes
  7. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 2, Mute Swan $0.99 on iTunes
  8. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 3, Coot $0.99 on iTunes
  9. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 4, Mallard $0.99 on iTunes
  10. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 5, Black-headed Gull $0.99 on iTunes
  11. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 6, Kingfisher $0.99 on iTunes
  12. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 7, Wren $0.99 on iTunes
  13. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 8, Robin $0.99 on iTunes
  14. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 9, Song Thrush $0.99 on iTunes
  15. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 10, Blackbird $0.99 on iTunes
  16. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 11, Chaffinch $0.99 on iTunes
  17. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 12, Blue Tit $0.99 on iTunes
  18. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 13, Woodpigeon $0.99 on iTunes
  19. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 14, Cuckoo $0.99 on iTunes
  20. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 15, Green Woodpecker $0.99 on iTunes
  21. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 16, Bullfinch $0.99 on iTunes
  22. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 17, Jay $0.99 on iTunes
  23. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 18, Tawny Owl $0.99 on iTunes
  24. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 19, Rook $0.99 on iTunes
  25. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 20, Kestrel $0.99 on iTunes
  26. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 21, Lapwing $0.99 on iTunes
  27. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 22, Partridge $0.99 on iTunes
  28. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 23, Skylark $0.99 on iTunes
  29. String Quartet No. 5 "Birdsong Bagatelles": No. 24, Magpie $0.99 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Cowie, Edward : Quartet for Strings no 3 ('In Flight Music')
>Cowie, Edward : Quartet for Strings no 4
>Cowie, Edward : Quartet for Strings no 5 ('Birdsong Bagatelles')
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Edward Cowie describes himself as 'the musical equivalent of a plein air visual artist', with compositions evolving from sketches or paintings done in situ. The natural world is inspiration for much of his music and on this album he focuses on flight; mainly of birds and insects. In String Quartet No. 3 'In Flight Music' he adds contrast with two flying-machine-titled movements Hang-gliders and Vapour Trails. String Quartet No.5 'Birdsong Bagatelles' features 24 brief movements, which collectively cover all the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. Each piece is named after a bird (Wren, Blackbird, Magpie ...) but Cowie avoids the Messiaen-style approach and instead focuses on the visual displays of birds and their habitat, rather than bird song. String Quartet No.4 explores mortality. The quartet plays a continuous, slowly ascending emotional and sensual 'hill-climb', which ends with a hymn-like theme.

BBC Music Magazine, March 2016
The string writing is as surefooted as ever; and realised with just the right mix of precision and fantasy by the Kreutzer Quartet.

BBC Music Magazine, June 2016
The Kreutzer Quartet bring a transparent, wiry sound to In Flight Music, filling its carefully-wrought textures with light... the Fourth Quartet is more abstract, thornier stuff - a moving memorial to friends and family who Cowie has lost. Cast as one movement... it makes a heartfelt centrepiece to a worthwhile recording.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (04/15/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (09/23/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (10/22/2014).



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Works Details

>Cowie, Edward : Quartet for Strings no 3 ('In Flight Music')
  • Ensemble: Kreutzer Quartet
  • Notes: St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (04/15/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (09/23/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (10/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1982-1983

>Cowie, Edward : Quartet for Strings no 4
  • Notes: St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (04/15/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (09/23/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (10/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1984

>Cowie, Edward : Quartet for Strings no 5 ('Birdsong Bagatelles')
  • Notes: St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (04/15/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (09/23/2015); St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury, Hertfordshire (10/22/2014)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003-2004