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HILL, Alfred: String Quartets, Vol. 1 (Dominion String Quartet) - Nos. 1, 2, 3

Composer(s):Hill, Alfred
Artist(s) Dominion String Quartet, Ensemble
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.570491
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
 
 
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8.570491
 


The musical language of Alfred Hill’s string quartets is reminiscent of Dvorák and Tchaikovsky with easily remembered melodies crafted within the harmonic texture of the romantic era, rhythmic vitality in the outer movements, and consistently beautiful slow movements of much charm. The blend of antipodean nationalism with the traditional forms and musical language of late nineteenth-century Europe brings a uniqueness and freshness that has appeal on a first hearing, yet reveals a wealth of underlying ideas on further acquaintance.


   




Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Alfred Hill was born in Sydney but moved to New Zealand in 1872. He studied in Leipzig, laying the foundations of his technique, and returned to Wellington in 1891. From 1910 until his death, 50 years later, he lived in Sydney and composed prolifically; there are some two thousand works in all, including ten operas, thirteen symphonies and seventeen string quartets! The First Quartet was begun during his student days and its successor, ‘A Maori Legend in Four Scenes’ (1907–11), as the title suggests, draws on some Maori ideas; the Third (1912), subtitled Carnival, was subsequently expanded into his Fifth Symphony (1955). The musical language owes much to Dvorák and Tchaikovsky, and there is a freshness and finish that

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Review By David Denton, Naxos,July 2007

Had the name of Dvorak appeared on the title page of Alfred Hill's first string quartet, it would probably have become part of the standard repertoire, the music more worthy of repeated hearing than any of the Czech composer's early works in this genre. Australia and New Zealand now vie for a claim on the composer's musical soul, and during the first half of the 20th century he had to represent on the international scene the aspirations of both nations. Born in Australia in 1869, he had lived his formative years in New Zealand where his love of music was carefully nurtured before departing at the age of seventeen to study in Leipzig where he fell under the many influences of the Brahms, Dvorak, Strauss and Tchaikovsky. His return to New Zealand marked a residency of twenty years,

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