NICHOLAS MAW (b.1935): String Quartet No. 3, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): String Quartet No. 3, 3 Divertimenti.
Catalogue Number: 11J110
Reference: CD 065
Description: Maw's concentrated quartet begins in something of a wistful English-pastoral mood, but characteristically the music ranges over a wide territory both expressively and technically in the course of its 22 minutes. The slow movement has a central-european feel, and then hints at a melancholy habanera, before allowing cadenzas for the solo instruments; then follow two scherzi, the fast a Mahlerian nocturne, the second a Shostakovichian dance with a hint of brutality. The finale is a passacaglia, not far from late Britten in mood and vocabulary. This makes the main coupling especially appropriate, and it is good to have the almost absurdly precocious schoolboy Britten's Divertimenti as a fill-up for anyone who missed them before. Coull Quartet.