Michael Finnissy (geb. 1946): Streichquartette Nr.2 & 3
Michael Finnissy's Second Quartet is 'based on a compact Haydn model' - originally intended to be the 'Lark', Op. 64, No. 5 - and traces of its antecedent can be discerned within it. By contrast, the Third Quartet incorporates actual birdsong, both transcribed and recorded, in the composer's response to the natural world and man's place in it: the instruments gradually fade out, to leave only the sound of birds.
The Kreutzer Quartet has forged an enviable reputation as one of the Europe's most dynamic and innovative string quartets. They are the dedicatees of numerous works, and over many years have forged creative partnerships with composers including Sir Michael Tippett, David Matthews, Michael Finnissy, Judith Weir, and Haflidi Hallgrimsson. They have a particularly strong relationship to a cross-section of leading American composers, having collaborated intensively with George Rochberg in the last few years of his life, as long as working closely with figures as Elliott Schwartz, and the prolific symphonist Gloria Coates. As recording artists they have won critical acclaim for their discs on the Naxos, Metier, and Chandos labels. They are Artists in Association at Quartet at York University, and at Wiltons Music Hall. Their work in collaboration with art galleries has garnered much attention, and large audiences, particularly their annual residency at the Tate Gallery, St Ives.
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