Bliss: String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2

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COMPOSERS: Bliss
LABELS: TRO-CD 01412
WORKS: String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2
PERFORMER: Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: TRO-CD 01412
Bliss is an undervalued composer, and new recordings of his major works are therefore to be welcomed. His two string quartets (1941 and 1950) represent his mature style, and both are cogently worked on the classic four-movement model, with particularly skilful balancing between the four parts. This young German ensemble plays the music with care and affection, but the performances are rather less involving than those of the rival Delmé Quartet (Hyperion CDA 66178), whose phrasing is more ardent, and whose recorded sound has more bloom. The Mendelssohn is heard to best advantage in the slow movements, when the restrained approach invests the music with much beauty. The disc is well documented, though some dates are wrongly attributed. Terry Barfoot

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