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Delius & Elgar: String Quartets / Villiers Quartet


Release Date: 05/12/2017 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573586  
Composer:  Frederick DeliusSir Edward Elgar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Villiers String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The legacy of the First World War left its mark on the music of near contemporaries Edward Elgar and Frederick Delius. The powerful outer movements of Elgar's String Quartet in E minor frame a wistful and sombre Andante piacevole. Delius was dissatisfied with the first, three-movement version of his Quartet and revised the score. On this recording the final 1917 version is followed by the original versions of the opening movement and of the Late Swallows slow movement, offering a rare glimpse into Delius's compositional workshop. The legacy of the First World War left its mark on the music of near contemporaries Edward Elgar and Frederick Delius. The powerful outer movements of Elgar's String Quartet in E minor frame a wistful and sombre Andante piacevole. Delius was dissatisfied with the first, three-movement version of his Quartet and revised the score. On this recording the final 1917 version is followed by the original versions of the opening movement and of the Late Swallows slow movement, offering a rare glimpse into Delius's compositional workshop. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings [1916] by Frederick Delius
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Villiers String Quartet
2.
Quartet for Strings in E minor, Op. 83 by Sir Edward Elgar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Villiers String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Great Performance December 26, 2017 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "The Villiers Quartet follows in the illustrious footsteps of England's Maggini String Quartet as part of Naxos' excellent series of disks devoted to the chamber music of British composers. Frederick Delius' String Quartet in E Minor from 1917 is a gorgeous work, exhibiting such moods as wistfulness, melancholy, pathos, and occasional agitated nervousness. Perhaps the dominant, noticeably somber quality of this quartet may be attributed to World War 1's impact on Delius, who was living in France at the time the war broke out and who had to evacuate out of harm's way as the Kaiser's armies advanced toward Paris. As a bonus, the disk includes 2 earlier movements which Delius had originally composed for the quartet, but subsequently revised. Delius' contemporary Sir Edward Elgar was also affected by the war, although perhaps in a more nationalistic and overtly patriotic manner, at least in the war's early stages. Composed in 1918 at the war's end, Elgar's 3-movement quartet was one of several chamber works composed during his recovery from a psychological trauma, which the CD notes identify as a 'nervous breakdown'. It is a complex work which exhibits a variety of tempos, intensities, and emotionally intense passages. I loved this entire program, and I expect most Arkivmusic patrons will as well. Make no mistake- the chamber music of Delius and Elgar does not readily fit the paradigm of continental European compsers; instead, we find a distinct British musical worldview here, one that is sophisticated and deep. Hats off to the Villiers Quartet for a splendid traversal of some very fine music. Definitely recommended." Report Abuse
 JGR June 8, 2017 By John G Ross (Hickory, NC) See All My Reviews "Jim Dickensen and Tamaki Higashi are former colleagues and were part of an earlier quartet that was in residence with our symphony orchestra, the Western Piedmont Symphony in Hickory, NC. I am very impressed by this recording. Great British repertoire, but wonderfully recorded. I understand it is selling well within the U.K., on the Classical Chart there and near the top. This is very attractive music, played with obvious care and respect. Anyone who likes chamber music should add this to their collection. John Gordon Ross, Music Director and Conductor Western Piedmont Symphony, Hickory, NC" Report Abuse
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