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Dip Your Ears, No. 78

available at Amazon
A.Rawsthorne, String Quartets,
Maggini Quartet

Bartók, Shostakovich, Ligeti on tranquilizers, Reger, and even Beethoven wafted by my musical nose when listening to this tremendous disc of Alan Rawsthorne’s String Quartets with the Maggini Quartet. If you don’t like the most difficult of those just mentioned composers, don’t bother with this release. But if you do, you’ll be surprised how easy these works are on the ear; how they please despite plenty dissonance and stress. They are all in some way built around themes and variations – and the disc includes the so-titled work for two violins as well. It’s an hour of the very highest quality 20th century chamber music (the quartets date from 1939, 54, and 64 – I like them all; the third most), and easily the happiest string quartet discovery for me since happening upon the Bloch quartets or Villa-Lobos’ works in that genre. Once this disc was in my player, I listened through the whole thing in one sitting. Trice. The Maggini Quartet plays up to the same high standards that anyone who knows their other discs for Naxos has already come to expect. To those who think they might like this (and you know who you are), this is most warmly recommended!

Naxos 570136

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right about the Rawsthorne string quartets. They are wonderful. One name that wafted by as I was listening was Bach.

Happy Easter