FINN SAVERY (b.1933): String Quartet No. 2, Variations for Clarinet and String Quartet, Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Synergie for Guitar Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 06I119
Description: Although Savery has parallel careers as composer of musicals and in jazz and popular music, there is very little evidence of that in these concentrated and rigorously through-composed chamber works. Richly chromatic, the quartet sets up harmonic relationships based upon intervals, the interplay of which between parts establishes the harmonic tension of the music. When pentatonic or other modal melodies emerge they serve to lighten an otherwise tense and rather dark idiom. The quartet writing is basically conventional but very assured. The clarinet trio makes more of the contrasts in color between the instruments, and spices up the texture with some clusters and dissonance, but overall again the work has a neo-romantic feel. The guitar quartet has some adventurous and striking harmonies and exploits the rhythmic possibilities provided by the ensemble with some ingenious cross-rhythms and syncopations, while the Variations put a variety of pentatonic melodies through a range of contrapuntal devices. John Kruse (clarinet), The Kontra Quartet, Svend Winsløv (cello), Anne Mette Stæhr (piano), The Synergie Guitar Quartet.