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CHAN 10364
    2 Ratings
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CHAN 10364

Berkeley, Lennox & Michael: Chamber Music

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2006

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz

Originally recorded in 2005

Artists:

Thomas Carroll

cello*

Chilingirian Quartet



Venue:

Potton Hall Studio, Westleton, Suffolk



Producer:

Rachel Smith



Engineer:

Jonathan Cooper


Michael Common

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Chamber




Total Time - 54:45
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MICHAEL BERKELEY

(b. 1948)
Select Complete Single Disc for
premiere recording
1 

Abstract Mirror (2002)*

22:41
  for String Quartet  
 

LENNOX BERKELEY

(1903-1989)
premiere recording
 

String Quartet No. 2, Op. 15 (1940)

17:36  
2 [I] Allegro moderato 6:45
3 II Lento 4:58
4 III Allegro 5:52
   
 

MICHAEL BERKELEY

premiere recording
5 

Magnetic Field (1995)

14:29
  for String Orchestra  
All works are premiere recordings on this, the latest in a very successful, critically applauded series

It features Welsh cellist Thomas Carroll who captured First Prize in the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He debuts on Chandos with this recording.
Chandos’ latest release in this Berkeley father-and-son recording project is devoted to chamber works for strings. This is a major addition to twentieth-century and contemporary British music.


Sir Lennox Berkeley developed a musical language of restrained and rational conversation which lends itself well to chamber music, for which he composed a great deal. The String Quartet No. 2, which here receives its premiere recording, was a wartime piece, first performed in London in 1941. It had been composed the previous year whilst Berkeley was staying at the home of the writer Jack Davenport in the Cotswolds. The composer described the new string quartet as influenced by the French music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in its clarity, order, and subtle emotional climate and projected, in his own words, ‘a certain type of harmony… that one finds later in the music of Poulenc in particular’.>br>
Although his musical language is very different from his father’s in some respects, including a greater reliance on strong dramatic gestures and sharp contrasts, Michael Berkeley too has found chamber music a congenial medium. His catalogue includes five works for string quartet, two with numbers followed by a Quartet Study for a competition, Magnetic Field and Torque and Velocity – each in a single movement, one of his abiding formal preoccupations. Magnetic Field was written in 1995, the tercentenary of the death of Henry Purcell, and Michael Berkeley says that the starting point for his work was Purcell’s string music, and in particular the Fantasia upon One Note, in which one instrument reiterates a single note throughout. However, his idea was to use a single note as ‘a kind of magnetic force around which everything else revolves’. Abstract Mirror was commissioned by the Chilingirian Quartet and first performed by them with the cellist Stephen Orton in February 2003. In it, the composer realised a long-held ambition to write a string quintet with two cellos, as in Schubert’s late masterpiece. The work is again in a single movement, without hard-edged divisions into sections.

This release deserves a warm welcome
International Record Review

‘…those indispensable pillars of British musical life, the Chilingirian Quartet’
The Times

‘…the inevitable stars were the Chilingirian Quartet…they remain giants in their field.’
The Independent

We have waited 65 years fir a recording of Lennox Berkeley’s Second String Quartet so it’s particularly welcome in this admirable Chandos series… These well recorded performances are a fine demonstration of the Chilingirians’ exceptional panache and show total sympathy throughout.
Gramophone

The Chilingirians, whose crisp ensemble and tonal richness is ideal for this music, play it with charm and energy.

The Chilingirians play with precision, polish, and expressiveness; and Chandos’s sonics are a model of clarity and immediacy.
American Record Guide




*****
C Robertson

*****
R Jones