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Michael Nyman - String Quartets 1-3

Michael Nyman - String Quartets 1-3

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1 - 6.   String Quartet No. 2 (21:32)
7 - 8.   String Quartet No. 3 (15:52)
9 - 20. String Quartet No. 1 (25:44)

 Label: MN Records

Cat No: MNRCD124


The classic Balanescu Quartet recordings of Michael Nyman’s String Quartets 1-3 Presented in a 6 panel digipack with an accompanying 12 page booklet containing extensive notes written by Michael Nyman “The three string quartets were not conceived as a series, as they owe their origins to three very different sets of circumstances, however, re-viewing these three quartets together for the Argo/Decca recording, revealed a consistency of compositional approach which quite unwittingly unifies them and sets them distinctively apart from the majority of my other compositions.

Each quartet is built around the principle of conflict - not necessarily conflict between the instruments, as is the traditional view of the quartet medium, but more interestingly (since it was not a conscious approach) conflict [or maybe dialogue!] between sets of musical material which appear to be at odds with each other: between the pre-formed and the freely-composed. 'String Quartet No. 1', for instance, the conflict is between two 'found' musical objects, separated both by their cultural origins and by a distance of around 300 years; in 'String Quartet No,2' the apparent contradiction is between strictly-observed South Indian rhythmic systems and a doggedly European sensibility; while 'String Quartet No. 3' bridges the gap between a choral work written in the summer of 1989 and its transformation into a string quartet, partly through a visitation by a number of Romanian folk music fragments.


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