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Arnold Bax: String Quartet in G major
I. Allegretto semplice
II. Lento e molto expressivo
III. Rondo: Allegro vivace
Arnold Bax: String Quartet in A major
II. Lento molto espressivo
III. Allegro vivace
“These are certainly excellent and well-recorded renditions and at Naxos's price a super bargain.”
“Fresh, enthusiastic and very accomplished …. The Maggini’s performance is full of conviction and the recording balances clarity and atmosphere to something like perfection.”
21st January 2001
“The intensity, the warmth, the sheer lyrical beauty of the work is quite staggering at times, and the playing of the Maggini Quartet is stunning, from the hushed whispers of the third movement's Trio, to the rhythmic unanimity of all four performers in the Scherzo proper”
“Had Dvorák written an Irish Quartet to sit alongside his delectable American, it might well have sounded like the start of Bax's First String Quartet. Completed in 1918, this is one of Bax's most endearing and approachable scores. The clean-cut opening Allegretto semplice positively beams with happiness, and it's succeeded by a wistfully intimate slow movement. The finale begins and finishes in a mood of pagan revelry, though there's time for a ravishing episode in Bax's sweetest lyrical vein, its indelible tune a close cousin to the folksong The Fair Hills ofIreland. The Second Quartet of 1924-5 proves an altogether tougher nut to crack. Conceived at the same time as the Second Symphony, it's a knotty, densely plotted creation, as harmonically daring as Bax ever ventured and demanding formidable concentration from performers and listeners alike. The Maggini Quartet do Bax absolutely proud, their performances striking an ideal balance between urgent expression and purposeful clarity. Both rival readings on Chandos have considerable strengths, but the Maggini's scrupulously dedicated advocacy will captivate both seasoned Baxians and newcomers alike. An outstanding coupling in every way.”
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