William Alwyn: String Quartets Nos.1-3 (Naxos Audio CD)

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Catalogue No: 8570560
String Quartets Nos.1-3 (Naxos Audio CD)

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Maggini Quartet
Lorraine McAslan (violin 1)
David Angel (violin 2)
Martin Outram (viola)
Michal Kaznowski (cello)

For British composer William Alwyn CBE the string quartet was the “most perfect of mediums”.

His String Quartet No. 1 of 1953 recalls the sound worlds of Dvorák, Janácek and Smetana, while repaying his debt to the Czech tradition with memorably original music.

Almost 22 years later, his Second Quartet, ‘Spring Waters’, was prefaced by lines from Turgenev’s novel of the same name: “My careless years, / My precious days, / like the waters of springtime, / Have melted away.”

The passionate opening of his Third, composed in 1984 and Alwyn’s swansong, leads to a conclusion of elegiac serenity.

“Fresh, enthusiastic and very accomplished …. The Maggini’s performance is full of conviction and the recording balances clarity and atmosphere to something like perfection.”
BBC Music Magazine

Contents and Reviews


String Quartet No. 1 in D minor String Quartet No. 2 ‘Spring Waters’ String Quartet No. 3 Novelette: Allegro con brio