David Matthews: Complete String Quartets, Volume Five

Catalogue No: TOCC0554
EAN/UPC: 5060113445544
Release Date: 2022-09-02
Composer: David Matthews
Artists: James Robinson, Jess Dandy, Kreutzer Quartet, Rebecca Lea, Will Dawes

The American critic Robert Reilly described the music on Volume One of this cycle of the complete string quartets of David Matthews (b. 1943) as ‘some of the most concentrated, penetrating writing for this medium in the past 30 years or more. It is musical thinking of the highest order and quartet writing in the great tradition of Beethoven, Bartók, Britten, and Tippett’. Matthews’ three most recent quartets call in a wide range of references. Birdsong – heard in Nos. 13 and 14 – is a standard Matthews topos; and the fugal No. 15 seems to find a middle ground between late Beethoven and folk-music. No. 13 presents the biggest surprise: it introduces four solo voices, siting the work somewhere between Berg’s Lyric Suite and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music. Some touching arrangements and two canons for two Michaels – Tippett and Berkeley – complete the programme.

Rebecca Lea, soprano 8
Jess Dandy, contralto 8
James Robinson, tenor 8
Will Dawes, baritone 8
Kreutzer Quartet
Peter Sheppard Skærved and Mihailo Trandafilovski, violins
Clifton Harrison, viola
Neil Heyde, cello

Listen To This Recording:

    String Quartet No. 14, Op. 145 (2016–17)

  1. I Night: Adagio –
  2. II Sunrise: Lento e sostenuto –
  3. III Day: Molto vivace con gioia
  4. String Quartet No. 15, Op. 159 (2021)

  5. I Allegro
  6. II Molto adagio
  7. III Giocoso
  8. IV Moderato
  9. String Quartet No. 13, Op. 136 (2014–15)

  10. I Green: In tranquilla attesa
  11. II Woollahra Magpies: Poco lento – Vivace
  12. III Sun in me: Con luminosità costante
  13. IV The Song Thrush: Moderato
  14. V Lux Aeterna: Con il movimento pacifico

  16. Sospiri
  17. Elgar arr. MATTHEWS

  18. Minuet, K355/576b
  19. Gigue, K574
  20. Beethoven arr. MATTHEWS

  21. Bagatelle, WoO56

  23. Stille Nacht

  25. Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
  26. David Matthews

  27. Canon for Michael Tippett
  28. Canon for Michael Berkeley


1 review for David Matthews: Complete String Quartets, Volume Five

  1. :

    ‘One cannot find fault with the four singers or with the Kreutzer Quartet who clearly understand the composer’s requirements and communicate them lucidly and intelligently. […]

    There is little or no difference in the acoustic and atmosphere of the recordings made at varying venues. The sound is consistent and always transparent.’

    —Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International

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