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’. This fourth CD in the series presents Matthews’ String Quartet No. 11, a set of variations on the eighth of Beethoven’s Op. 119 Bagatelles, as well as his own contribution to the ‘Diabelli’ Variations and his complete Beethoven transcriptions for string quartet.
Complete Beethoven Transcriptions
Piano Sonata 28 in A major, Op. 101:
Piano Sonata 11 in B flat major, Op. 22:
String Quartet No. 11, Op. 108:
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Catalogue No: TOCC0318EAN/UPC: 5060113443182Release Date: 01.02.2016Composer: David Matthews Artists: Kreutzer Quartet
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Stephen Pritchard :
“Beethoven has been a lifelong source of inspiration for David Matthews, so it was natural for him to take a bagatelle by his hero as the starting point for his own monumental String Quartet No 11, a set of 13 variations, similar in scale to Beethoven’s late B flat Op 130 and C sharp minor Op 131 quartets. It’s a startling, broad work, travelling towards its blazingly optimistic finale via all manner of dance forms and even a touch of serialism, with a profound reworking of the cavatina from the Op 130 quartet at its core. It’s a tremendous achievement; revering Beethoven while taking him gently by the hand and leading him into the 21st century.” –The Observer, February 2016
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