Davies, Maxwell: Naxos Quartet No. 1 - CD
This page lists all recordings of Naxos Quartet No. 1, by Peter Maxwell Davies (b.1934) on CD.
Gramophone MagazineEditor's Choice
Awards Issue 2004
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Maxwell Davies - Naxos Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
“The Magginis are most accurate and cogent guides” Gramophone Magazine
“This first instalment of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's ambitious series of 10 Naxos Quartets indicates that it's shaping up to be quite a journey.
The septuagenarian composer rises superbly to the technical challenges of the medium. The first two movements of the First Quartet evince a formal strength, expressive scope and thematic ingenuity that launch the cycle in sure-footed fashion; both attain a dramatic and emotional resolution in some arresting unison writing.
The compact concluding scherzo could hardly provide a bolder contrast; its ghostly, Will-'othe- wisp dialogue will re-emerge in the Third Quartet.
There are four movements in the Second Quartet, the second and third of which comprise a self-contained diptych (and the former's recitative first half harks back to No-1's Largo centrepiece).
The outer movements are more expansive. An expectant Lento introduction leads to a bracing Allegro, its progress stimulating and satisfyingly proportioned. The Lento flessible finale is finer still: a memorably serene and utterly inevitable essay.
The Magginis are most accurate and cogent guides, realistically recorded within the sympathetic acoustic of Potton Hall in Suffolk. A most rewarding coupling.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“…these first two quartets certainly have a real sense of compulsion and creative urgency about their invention. …the Maggini Quartet sustains both with huge assurance; neither is easy to play technically, but every detail is there…” BBC Music Magazine, November 2004 ****
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“This is quite simply the greatest and most generously rewarding quartet cycle since that of Elliott Carter…and, unlike Carter’s and the output of most other composers of quartets, the Naxos Quartets are absolutely a cycle, conceived from the outset as a single journey, albeit one with many localised diversions.” Classical Source
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