The string quartet is at the very heart of 20th century British music, encompassing some of the quintessential works of the chamber music repertory. This compendium features fine examples of the genre, revealing the precocious talents of Benjamin Britten and John Ireland, the quicksilver craftsmanship of Frank Bridge and Alan Rawsthorne, the ‘captured sunshine’ of Edward Elgar’s writing and the evocative pastoral renderings of Arthur Bliss and Arnold Bax. Although the musical styles of each of the composers featured in this collection are unique, their contributions are unified by an innate understanding and mastery of the string quartet form. The multi-award winning and twice Grammy Award-nominated Maggini Quartet’s consummate and much lauded interpretations of these works are presented here together for the first time.
Excerpts from select reviews of previously released items included in this set:
Ireland: String Quartets
These works make for gratifying listening. The performances from the Maggini Quartet are simply magnificent: what devotion these musicians lavish on this music. Furthermore, the recording is quite superb in its intimacy, blend, and balance — the listener feels like the “fifth” member.
Bax: String Quartets Nos 1 & 2
Both quartets are important contributions to the repertoire, something made abundantly clear by the Maggini Quartet's masterful, deeply felt, and finely executed readings. The ensemble's burning conviction will make you a believer too.
Alwyn: String Quartets No 1-3
With controlled vibrato and sharp attacks, theirs is a compellingly stark, uncompromising, physical approach, stressing the modernity of the works. Lyrical sections, as a result, stand out in bold relief.