David Matthews: Complete String Quartets, Volume Two

Discovery Club Members Save 30%!
Login or Join Today

(6 customer reviews)

Catalogue No: TOCC0059
EAN/UPC: 5060113440594
Release Date: 2012-07-09
Composer: David Matthews
Artists: Kreutzer Quartet, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, Neil Heyde, Peter Sheppard Skærved

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, Bartok, Britten, and Tippett’. This second CD in the series presents the Fifth Quartet (1984) and the most recent, Quartet No. 12 (2009–10).

Kreutzer Quartet, string quartet
Peter Sheppard Skærved, violin
Mihailo Trandafilovski, violin
Morgan Goff, viola
Neil Heyde, cello

6 reviews for David Matthews: Complete String Quartets, Volume Two

  1. :

    ‘… the Kreutzer Quartet gives its collective all in accounts of manifest commitment and burning conviction. The sound is a touch raw in the Fifth Quartet but with an ideal balance and perspective in the Twelfth, while the composer supplies typically insightful notes. The remainder of this series could not be more keenly awaited.’

    —Richard Whitehouse, International Record Review

  2. :

    ‘If David Matthews Fifth Quartet is a compact masterwork with its three joined movements then the Twelfth achieves similar mastery but on a vast canvas full of concentration, power and compassion. This is music of a fully rounded man and musician who has something he wants to say about life. …The Kreutzer Quartet are the dedicatees of these quartets and have worked for some time with Matthews and his music. If they can’t achieve the composer’s intentions who can?’

    —Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International

  3. :

    For anyone interested in chamber music, these two string quartets should be compulsory listening. They are wonderful works, eloquent, varied, and superbly performed. Thoroughly recommended.

  4. :

    ‘The second volume […] maintains the high standard of the first, […] and more. It reinforces the view that, Robert Simpson apart, he is probably the most important British composer of recent decades. Here we have two premiere recordings: the three-movement Fifth Quartet (1984) is terse, intense and superbly sustained, but it’s the very recent Quartet No. 12 (2009–10) that is the revelation. […] the Quartet No. 12 seems to cram in almost more than its form can take. Yet the resulting imaginative enlargement of the genre – with sounds that are weighty yet practically angst-free – make this work, for me, one of Matthews’s most important achievements. The Kreutzer Quartet […] are at the very top of their game in expounding this important and masterly score. I have no hesitation in recommending this disc.’

    —Calum MacDonald, BBC Music October 2012

  5. :

    ‘Matthews’s music is consistently fascinating and expertly crafted. What’s more, he has an individual voice that deserves exploration. […]

    The performance by the Kreutzer Quartet is astonishing. Their virtuosity in the Vivace, energico [of the fifth quartet] central section is jaw-dropping, and the sheer energy they generate could light up a small village. […] The Kreutzer Quartet cannot be faulted. Neither can the engineer, Jonathan Haskell. This is one of the best string quartet recordings I have heard in a while. […]

    The writing [of the 12th quartet] is astonishingly assured. Sudden statements in octaves have a Beethovenian weight to them. […] No doubting the enjoyment gleaned by the Kreutzer Quartet here. There is plenty of fun to be had in the Haydnesque “Menuetto scherzando” (and some great pizzicato playing from the quartet); the ensuing cello cadenza (Neil Heyde) is simply superb. […]The Kreutzer Quartet, the work’s dedicatees, give a performance that is unlikely to be bettered. The other David Matthews review I referred to at the outset is of his Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, and 5 on Dutton (Fanfare 33:1). That’s another essential purchase.’

    —Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine March/April 2013

  6. :

    ‘Happily, the very high standard of playing set by the earlier disc which featured the Fourth, Sixth and Tenth Quartets is maintained here, whilst the quality of the music is, if anything, even higher, marking Matthews out as one of the most natural and instinctive of recent contributors to this medium. […]

    At slightly under 18 minutes, Matthews’s String Quartet No. 5 is a compact and compelling work that proceeds logically and without clutter or flummery. The composer shows a genuine grasp of the medium and one feels this gripping, frequently grittily intense discourse could not be realized so successfully on any other combination of instruments. […]

    With its inclusivity, breadth and multi-movement structure, Matthews’ String Quartet No. 12 is unashamedly modelled on the late Beethoven quartets and like those visionary masterpieces constitutes a very individual utterance that achieves universal appeal through sheer ambition and range. For anyone yet to be convinced that David Matthews is a major contemporary British composer, this consummately-fashioned, gloriously expansive recent score offers the strongest of evidence to support such a claim. […]

    The Kreutzers, to whom the Twelfth Quartet is dedicated, premièred it at Wilton’s Music Hall, London in February 2011 and in the immensely persuasive accounts of both works featured on this superbly recorded Toccata Classics disc, the players approach the scores as if they were already part of their core repertoire, yet also allow themselves a liberating sense of spontaneity and, when required, fearless attack, as in the fiercely impassioned conclusion to the Fifth Quartet. This outstanding disc can be recommended without reservation.’

    —Paul Conway, Tempo January 2013

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *