Notes and Editorial Reviews
Back in the time when the string quartet was invented, melody--fertile and pliable, whether clever and catchy or at least affecting or in some other way memorable--was a central component, allied to a discernible harmonic structure. Well, this is the 21st century, not the 18th (all of the works here were written since 2000), and the thing you're first and foremost aware of in David L. Post's very fine quartets is texture. While there are certainly thematic elements at play throughout, they are one with the multitude of textural factors--including pizzicato, register effects, multiple-stopping, and harmonics--such that you perceive everything as a whole, not as one component superior to or supported by another. It all flows straight on,
organically growing and developing to a conclusion that feels natural and absolutely uncontrived.
And the more you listen you can't help but appreciate the conceptually rich, seemingly effortlessly idiomatic string writing--make that string quartet writing--that was lost for a few decades but declares its return in works such as these. After all, you're still listening after five minutes, 10 minutes, a half hour--and thankfully there are no gimmicks, no tricks (yes, there is a "Martians are landing" moment in the finale to the Second quartet, but it's just cool, not tacky or extraneous).
What you will discover here--thanks also to the technically solid, articulate, and sensitive playing of the Hawthorne Quartet--is music for intelligent, musically savvy listeners who, while they may be able to appreciate, say, the stupefyingly difficult, tediously worked out music of Elliott Carter, just want to sit back and enjoy some string quartet music with some heart and soul. I know--you may be hesitant about taking a chance on string quartets from a guy born in 1949 (which I have to say was a great year); he would have come of age as a composer in the tangled disorder of the 1960s and '70s. But do not fear; this is really good music, worthy of repeated listening and certainly of inclusion in the repertoire of any respectable modern quartet. Highly recommended.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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