Elliott Carter - String Quartets Volume 1

Naxos: 8559362

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Elliott Carter - String Quartets Volume 1



Catalogue No:




Release date:

31st Dec 2007




60 minutes


CD (download also available)
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Elliott Carter - String Quartets Volume 1

Carter, E:

String Quartet No. 1

String Quartet No. 5



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Released to celebrate the American master Elliott Carter’s centenary, this is the first of two discs of the complete String Quartets. Carter himself has written: ‘I probably decided to write what was to be the First Quartet when I read about a composition prize in Liege, Belgium, because there are many ideas swarming around in my imagination about expression, rhythm and harmony mostly derived from my Cello Sonatas …. Then my Second, Third, and Fourth Quartets developed my imaginings in different ways until I began to realise that soon I would exhaust this direction, and so my Fifth Quartet became a farewell to the previous four and an exploration of a new vision’

Elliott Carter: String Quartet No. 1

I. Maestoso

I. Allegro scorrevole (from bar 356)

II. Allegro scorrevole

II. Adagio (from bar 57)

III. Variations

Elliott Carter: String Quartet No. 5


I. Giocoso

Interlude I

II. Lento espressivo

Interlude II

III. Presto scorrevole

Interlude III

IV. Allegro energico

Interlude IV

V. Adagio sereno

Interlude V

VI. Capriccioso

Gramophone Magazine

April 2008

“In No 1 (1951), the Pacifica find a near-perfect balance between the driving intensity of the Arditti and portentous grandeur of the Juilliard. In No 5 (1995) they, like the Arditti make the most of its alternation of outwardly spontaneous and rigorous sections, yet the sense of tension and release is even more capricious.”

The Times

“The Pacificas launch a complete cycle of his string quartets with the imposing First (a breakthrough in metrical complexity) paired with the airier, swifter Fifth. Naxos do composer and musicians proud, with clear sound and a good spatial spread – essential for catching the tumbling notes. Music with heart as well as a brain; and a great Naxos bargain.”

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