Through his quartets, composer Jeremy Beck provides an intriguing and inviting window into his own direct and communicative sound world. Composed over nearly 25 years, four of Beck’s five quartets are brilliantly performed here by diverse ensembles from Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Louisville, Kentucky. These exciting compositions reveal key facets of Beck’s engaging approach to tonality, rhythm and form…….
Franz Liszt, writing about Grieg's String Quartet No 1, declared: 'It is long time since I have encountered a new composition, especially a string quartet, which has intrigued me as greatly as this distinctive and admirable work by Grieg'. Grieg himself said that his quartet '… aims at breadth; to soar, and above all at a vigorous sound for the instruments for which it is written.' In 1891, Edvard Grieg started his second quartet, but sadly lacked inspiration and time to finish the last two movements. Levon Chilingirian of the Chilingirian Quartet has studied the original manuscripts of the first two movements (which have many clarifying instructions added by Julius Röntgen in preparation for their printing by C F Peters in 1908) and prepared the third and fourth movements especially for this recording. This is therefore a first recording of the completed String Quartet No 2.
In his 16 quartets for two violins, viola, and cello, Beethoven created a Mount Everest for string players and some of the most sublime, unforgettable music ever written. Continuing to astound listeners after 200 years, these glorious quartets give voice to the innermost landscape of the human heart and spirit. They stand, like Michelangelo's statues or the plays of Shakespeare, at the pinnacle of Western art.
The string quartets of Danish music's eccentric outsider Rued Langgaard (1893-1952) are passionate works of the composer's youth, representing both his nostalgically romantic side and his profoundly visionary modernity. For the first time on CD, this recording series presents all 9 quartets in the award-winning young Nightingale String Quartet's distinctly dramatic interpretation based on the revised Rued Langgaard Edition.
The staying power of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s string quartets rivals that of his symphonies. His quartets are deeply personal works – intensely autobiographical, confessional, intimate, intensely emotional – and among the most insightful works in the quartet repertoire.