WILLIAM ZINN (b.1924): String Quartet No. 1, Elie Wiesel (A Portrait), Kol Nidrei Memorial.
Catalogue Number: 05P076
Reference: NI 6256
Description: The composer has had a long and distinguished career as both performer and prolific composer, writing in traditional forms and styles, with evidently little time for modernism of any kind. The Portrait of Elie Wiesel is Zinn's very personal tribute to this important figure, in a series of episodes suggestive of the seriousness of the subject, and the humanity and energy of the man. Aside from a serious, dark-hued introduction and epilogue, which could be conservative early twentieth century, much of the piece could easily be from a hundred years earlier; the recurring lively allegro is really quite good Schubert! There is a slight inflection of Jewish folk music to a few phrases, but the vocabulary is otherwise that of the classical-romantic masters familiar to the composer from his many years as orchestral violinist. The quartet is a similar tribute, this time to a colleague who loved Beethoven's music, so here the model is clearly and intentionally late Beethoven, with an especially moving slow movement entitled 'Requiem', and a delightfully humorous scherzo. The Kol Nidrei Memorial consists of variations on the Hebraic theme in Romantic style, serious, uplifting and deeply moving. Wihan Quartet.