ROBERT STILL (1910-1971): String Quartets Nos. 1-4.
Catalogue Number: 11Q012
Description: You may remember Still from the Lyrita reissue of his Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 in July of 2009 (07L012). He was another of the many English composers of his generation who composed in the style of Vaughan Williams and other early 20th century tonal, folk-inspired artists and who came to grief when the British musical establishment began shutting them out in favor of continental European atonality and complexity. These quartets are a sharp picture of that divide: the first two are melodic and tonal, with plenty of folk-inspired tunes while the last two, written after a period of study with Hans Keller, are in a more severe style, polytonal more than atonal. Still still could not write unappealing music; his tool-box was different but the results remain more approachable than the "I can't believe it's Serialism" music of people like Benjamin Frankel. Villiers Quartet.