Leifs: String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2; String Quartet No. 3

COMPOSERS: Leifs
LABELS: BIS
WORKS: String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2; String Quartet No. 3
PERFORMER: Yggdrasil Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CD-691 DDD
These three quartets epitomise Icelandic composer Jón Leifs (1899-1968) as the musical pioneer and free-thinker that he was. Written without preconception, they demand the same of their listeners. The First is an austere, ever-unpredictable single movement, based on the parallel fifths of the medieval tvísöngur; the passionate and searching Second, in memory of his drowned daughter, perhaps the greatest of them all. The Swedish Yggdrasil Quartet does Leifs proud in performances of real understanding and conviction. Hilary Finch

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