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Britten – String Quartets

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-1540 SACD
Release date2010-06-28
Orig. sample rate44100Hz
Total time71:54

International Record Review: outstanding.

Benjamin Britten always enjoyed performing with small ensembles - he played the viola as well as the piano - and his natural facility in writing for strings was evident from a very early age. The programme on this disc contains several examples of those early works, including a world première recording of his Miniature Suite, composed at the age of 16. The disc opens with String Quartet No.2, however, the most ambitious of Britten's three mature quartets. Composed in 1945, a few months after the première of the opera Peter Grimes, this work was part of a commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Henry Purcell's death. Nevertheless, the connection with Purcell is only explicit in the third movement, called Chacony, and even this movement is based on a theme whose character is very personal to Britten himself. In this first part of a survey of Britten's works for string quartet, the internationally acclaimed Emperor Quartet performs the music of their compatriot. The quartet's first release on BIS was a disc with music by James MacMillan, which earned it high praise, for instance in the French magazine Répertoire: 'The ultra-sensitive interpretation reveals a spectacular virtuosity and perfection, with an uncompromising explosiveness'. A warm welcome also met the following disc of Martinu quartets, accorded a 'Stern des Monats' in the German magazine Fono Forum, and chosen as a selected recording in Strad Magazine, with the following praise: 'The Emperor Quartet produces playing of scorching insight and commitment.'
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 14.71
Extra material for download
  Composer: Britten, Benjamin
  String Quartet No.2 in C major, Op.36 30:48
01 I. Allegro calmo senza rigore 08:32 $ 1.79 USD
02 II. Vivace 03:30 $ 0.74 USD
03 III. Chacony 18:46 $ 3.94 USD
  Three Divertimenti 10:08
04 I. March 03:41 $ 0.77 USD
05 II. Waltz 03:09 $ 0.66 USD
06 III. Burlesque 03:18 $ 0.69 USD
  Miniature Suite 09:58
07 I. Novelette 02:55 $ 0.61 USD
08 II. Menuetto 03:05 $ 0.65 USD
09 III. Romanza 01:56 $ 0.41 USD
10 IV. Gavotte 02:02 $ 0.43 USD
  String Quartet in D major 19:08
11 I. Allegro maestoso 08:54 $ 1.87 USD
12 II. Lento ed espressivo 05:26 $ 1.14 USD
13 III. Allegro giocoso 04:48 $ 1.01 USD
  Album total 71:54
String quartetEmperor String Quartet
ComposerBritten, Benjamin

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