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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’

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