COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky Barber,Wiren,Wood
WORKS: String Quartet No. 2; String Quartet Op. 11; String Quartet No. 3; String Quartet No. 3
PERFORMER: Lindsay String Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 825 DDD
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, in a typically imaginative gesture, the Lindsay String Quartet has brought out a CD of four 20th-century works, all ‘live’ performances, in some cases including the applause. Quartets by Dag Wirén and Samuel Barber provide a soft outside with their easy tonal language. Wirén is best known for his Serenade (BBC TV’s Monitor theme ), and the first movement of this third quartet with its arresting, wistful, rhythmic motif could prove equally popular. Samuel Barber’s quartet includes the famous Adagio, played here with grave melancholy.
It is all the better for being placed in the context of two passionate surrounding movements. The works by André Tchaikovsky and Hugh Wood (both written for the Lindsays and here in world premiere recordings) are less of an easy listen. The Polish-born pianist and composer André Tchaikovsky left only seven compositions when he died tragically in 1982 at the age of 46. The elegiac Passacaglia of this quartet brings full-blooded, passionate playing, a Lindsay characteristic, while Hugh Wood’s third quartet, a gritty, complex single movement brings out the Lindsays’ remarkable range of instrumental colour, intensity of feeling and vigorous attack. A highly welcome anniversary disc. Annette Morreau