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MAXWELL-DAVIES, PETER: Naxos Quartets Nos.1 & 2

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Maxwell Davies: Naxos Quartet No. 1; Naxos Quartet No. 2

“…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 ****

“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

“The Magginis are most accurate and cogent guides” Gramophone Magazine