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Hill: String Quartets Vol 1 / Dominion Quartet


Release Date: 06/26/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570491   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alfred Hill
Performer:  David PucherYury GezentsveyDonald MauriceDavid Chickering
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominion Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HILL String Quartets: Nos. 1–3 Dominion Str Qrt NAXOS 8.570491 (65:41)


This is the first volume devoted to Alfred Hill’s 17 string quartets. Hill (1869–1960) was born in Australia, spent his formative years in New Zealand, and studied in Leipzig. He was prolific as a composer and wrote operas, symphonies, concertos, choral works, and much more. (By the way, Hill is usually referred to as having been born on December 16, 1870, but research seems to have proved that his birth was exactly one year earlier.) Read more


His music is likened to that of Dvo?ák and Tchaikovsky. Spot on. It is. And none the worse for that. These three four-movement string quartets, each playing for around 20 minutes, are quite delightful: folksy, tuneful, and elegant, and written with no other aim except to be enjoyed. Hill’s writing is carefully crafted, thoroughly idiomatic, and fluent without being slick; and he seems to have a wealth of melody and suggestion by his side. A European Romantic in essence, but underpinned by “antipodean nationalism [and] Maori themes” (to quote from the booklet note). This latter, while no doubt important to the composer, is absorbed into very traditional-sounding string quartets, really quite Slavic, and here distinguished by some wonderful invention and fine craftsmanship.


The performances by the Dominion Quartet seem excellent and committed, and the close recording is very well judged.


FANFARE: Colin Anderson
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Works on This Recording

1. Quartet for Strings no 1 in B flat major "Maori" by Alfred Hill
Performer:  David Pucher (Violin), Yury Gezentsvey (Violin), Donald Maurice (Viola),
David Chickering (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominion Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 22 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Expressions Theater, Upper Hutt, New Zealand (05/22/2006 - 05/23/2006); Expressions Theater, Upper Hutt, New Zealand (10/16/2006 - 10/17/2006) 
2. Quartet for Strings no 2 in G minor "A Maori Legend" by Alfred Hill
Performer:  Yury Gezentsvey (Violin), David Pucher (Violin), Donald Maurice (Viola),
David Chickering (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominion Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Australia 
Length: 22 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Expressions Theater, Upper Hutt, New Zealand (05/22/2006 - 05/23/2006); Expressions Theater, Upper Hutt, New Zealand (10/16/2006 - 10/17/2006) 
3. Quartet for Strings no 3 in A minor "The Carnival" by Alfred Hill
Performer:  Yury Gezentsvey (Violin), David Pucher (Violin), Donald Maurice (Viola),
David Chickering (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominion Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Australia 
Length: 20 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Expressions Theater, Upper Hutt, New Zealand (05/22/2006 - 05/23/2006); Expressions Theater, Upper Hutt, New Zealand (10/16/2006 - 10/17/2006) 

Sound Samples

String Quartet No. 1 in B flat major, "Maori": I. Moderato - Allegro
String Quartet No. 1 in B flat major, "Maori": II. Waiata
String Quartet No. 1 in B flat major, "Maori": III. Tangi (Lament)
String Quartet No. 1 in B flat major, "Maori": IV. Finale
String Quartet No. 2 in G minor, "A Maori Legend in 4 Scenes": I. The Forest
String Quartet No. 2 in G minor, "A Maori Legend in 4 Scenes": II. The Dream
String Quartet No. 2 in G minor, "A Maori Legend in 4 Scenes": III. Scherzo
String Quartet No. 2 in G minor, "A Maori Legend in 4 Scenes": IV. Finale
String Quartet No. 3 in A minor, "The Carnival": I. In the Streets
String Quartet No. 3 in A minor, "The Carnival": II. Andantino
String Quartet No. 3 in A minor, "The Carnival": III. Scherzo
String Quartet No. 3 in A minor, "The Carnival": IV. Finale

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