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MAXWELL DAVIES, P.: Naxos Quartets Nos. 3 and 4 (Maggini Quartet)

Composer(s):Maxwell Davies, Peter
Artist(s) Maggini Quartet, Ensemble
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.557397
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Peter Maxwell Davies is universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, and is currently Master of the Queen’s Music. Plainchant, musical tradition and the haunting landscape of his adopted Orkney Islands all serve as inspiration to Maxwell Davies’ extraordinary and fecund imagination. This, the second release in a series of ten quartets commissioned by Naxos, features two contrasting works: Naxos Quartet No. 3, a spontaneous reaction to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Quartet No. 4, inspired by Brueghel’s famous painting of children’s games.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The very opening of the third of Maxwell Davies’s Quartets on Naxos may be dauntingly thorny, schematically based on magic squares inside one other, but that leads quickly to meditative music which is plainly from the heart, inspired, so the composer explains, by his response to the Iraq War, which began while he was writing. The second movement, In Nomine, the longest of the four, is even more deeply intense, with plainsong an underlying element, leading to a sharply rhythmic Scherzo, full of brilliant effects, and a Fugue which starts in echo of late Beethoven and then develops as a Fuga in the Italian meaning of ‘flight’. No. 4, lighter in tone, and more direct, opens on a motif in simple octaves and was inspired by Brueghel’s



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