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TIPPETT, M.: String Quartets, Vol. 1 - Nos. 1, 2, 4 (Tippett Quartet)

Composer(s):Tippett, Michael
Artist(s) Tippett Quartet, Ensemble
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.570496
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Michael Tippett, who was ‘invincibly drawn to the quartet medium’ when he heard performances by the Busch and Léner Quartets during his student years in London, wrote five string quartets spanning his entire compositional life. On this first disc of the complete Quartets, the tuneful String Quartet No. 1 is followed by the String Quartet No. 2, notable for its abundant lyricism and lithe, dancing rhythms. In sharp contrast to both these works stands the more dissonant String Quartet No. 4, an unbroken sequence of numbered movements, which reflect the String Quartet Op. 131 of Tippett’s compositional hero, Beethoven.


Review By David Denton,Naxos,October 2008

Michael Tippett composed the five quartets through much of his life, and they perfectly encapsulated the stylistic unfolding of one of the great English composers of the 20th century. Born in 1905, he published nothing until he was in his mid-thirties, the eventual breakthrough coming in 1941 with the emotive, A Child of our Time. Over the following years he was to embrace atonality and serialism, yet always seemed more persuasive when working within the extended boundaries of tonality. It is this environment that we find in his earliest quartet began in 1934, its three movements centered on a sombre but radiant Lento cantabile. Already the technical demands were evident, and were much extended in the Second Quartet dating from 1942. By 1978 he seems to have overlooked



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