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HILL, Alfred: String Quartets, Vol. 4 (Dominion String Quartet) - Nos. 10 and 11 / Life Quintet

Composer(s):Hill, Alfred
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.572844
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 6.99


Alfred Hill was the doyen of Australasian composers, and his exploration of the string quartet demonstrates the range of his imagination. Both the Tenth and Eleventh quartets were written in 1935, but they offer richly differing affiliations. No. 10 brings a classical formality fused with hints of Gershwin, and a remarkable last movement which recalls the three earlier movements in rapid succession in just 32 bars, whereas No. 11 marks the height of Hill’s impressionist refinement, complete with a characteristically beautiful slow movement. The ‘Life’ Quintet, with its vocal finale, was written in 1912, a fascinating experiment later reworked into a symphony.


Review By William Kreindler ,MusicWeb International,July 2012

The Quartet No. 10 is built entirely from a four-note motif. Hill’s skill at thematic development and his experience as a quartet player are amply demonstrated. The first movement has a somewhat Elgarian wistfulness, occasionally descending to sentimentality, with the middle movements showing a contrapuntal skill not often credited to Hill and the last movement having some truly eloquent pages. The Quartet No. 11 is impressionistic in idiom and altogether more serious than its predecessor, although the two works were written in the same year. It has been recorded more than once before and is probably the best known of the quartets. The harmony is reminiscent of Delius, but the use of D-major tonality follows older procedures, though in an original way. The slow movement makes

There is an energetic scherzo (Life as play), well-played by the Dominion Quartet and Richard Mapp, and the choral Gloria in Excelsis Deo. As vocal chamber music the finale is quite enjoyable…

…on the basis of this disc, I can highly recommend the series, both for committed playing and as first documentation of an important part of the quartet repertoire. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review


Review By Byzantion,MusicWeb International,March 2012

Hill’s Quartets are often deeply conservative, recalling, sometimes quite vividly, Beethoven, Dvorák and Tchaikovsky—and that is certainly true of the retrospective Tenth Quartet. In the Eleventh, on the other hand, the soundworld is more modern, with more of the rich, exotic tonality of Strauss or early Shostakovich making its presence felt. Nonetheless, both Quartets are almost anachronistically late-Romantic, and given also the fact that they are mellifluous, beautifully crafted and basically wistful in character, likely therefore to appeal to the widest of audiences.


Review By Robert R. Reilly,Catholic News Agency,January 2012

Robert Reilly’s Favorite of the Year

I’m sure you will find this music so attractive that you will want every installment, including this one… © 2012 Catholic News Agency See complete list


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