Tippett: String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2; String Quartet No. 3; String Quartet No. 4; String Quartet No. 5

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COMPOSERS: Tippett
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2; String Quartet No. 3; String Quartet No. 4; String Quartet No. 5
PERFORMER: Lindsay String Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCS 231 ADD/DDD (1975-93)
More than fifty years separates the First Quartet (1935) from the Fifth (1991), and these performances carry Tippett’s enthusiastic endorsement: ‘The Lindsays are indeed the best friend a composer could have.’ The first three quartets were recorded in 1975; the music’s radiant lyricism and rhythmic vigour are splendidly realised, though the sound is a little dry. The Fourth Quartet (1978) has the same ‘birth-to-death’ approach as the Fourth Symphony, its searching slow movement demanding and receiving playing of the utmost concentration, enhanced by an atmospheric recording. The Fifth Quartet, with its strong and visionary finale, is altogether more lyrical. Terry Barfoot

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