String Quartet Ainsi la Nuit
String Quartet Op.10 (1893)
String Quartet (1902)
Orpheus String Quartet
Channel Classics CCS 3892
The Orpheus String Quartet has been admired by S&H in live performance
Sebastian & London's
Hall, and on CD I have reviewed their valuable
integrale and quite exceptional
(quartets and clarinet quintet).
The early (and single} string quartets of Debussy & Ravel have long held
prominent places in the affections of devotees of French chamber music, and
both receive excellent performances in this release in Channel Classics'
Winning Artists series. I would not venture to enter into discussion as to
whether these are 'the best'; the chief interest of this CD is likely to
be the quartet of Henri Dutilleux (b.1916), which occupied this fastidious
composer from 1971 to 1977, and bids fair to become established in the 'canon'
of French masterpieces for the medium.
It plays continuously, in seven parts, with poetic and evocative titles.
It balances well its structures based upon 'chord cells', with 'parentheses'
which look both forward and backwards, and underlying romantic effect conveyed
by subtle string writing. It is a work which repays repetition and its inclusion
makes this another Orpheus Quartet CD to acquire. The notes are useful recording
and the quality is of the highest .
Peter Grahame Woolf