String Quartet No. 1 in A major (1934-35, rev. 1943)
String Quartet No. 2 in F sharp major (1941-42)
String Quartet No. 4 (1977-78)
The Tippett Quartet
John Mills (violin I), Jeremy Isaac (violin II), Maxine Moore (viola), Bozidar Vukotic (cello)
Michael Tippett, who was ‘invincibly drawn to the quartet medium’ when he heard performances by the Busch and Léner Quartets during his student years in London, wrote five string quartets spanning his entire compositional life.
On this first disc of the complete Quartets, the tuneful String Quartet No. 1 is followed by the String Quartet No. 2, notable for its abundant lyricism and lithe, dancing rhythms.
In sharp contrast to both these works stands the more dissonant String Quartet No. 4, an unbroken sequence of numbered movements, which reflect the String Quartet Op. 131 of Tippett’s compositional hero, Beethoven.
The Tippett Quartet is one of Britain’s most exciting young string quartets, founded in 1998. They are committed to combining mainstream repertoire with contemporary works and have been described as “bold and innovative” by The Times.
“The Tippett Quartet plays with a seasoned cohesion and rapport, but also with the tang of youthful spirit….The Tippett’s response embraced an arresting spectrum of colouring between extremes of astringency and refined delicacy. Huge enjoyable and provocative, the concert identified a quartet of such exciting ideas and vital interpretative insight that it promises to make a significant contribution to the realms of chamber music.”
The Daily Telegraph