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String Quartets 1 & 2


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Audio CD, March 27, 2007
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. String Quartet No. 1, Op. 23: I. Allegro commodo 5:03$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. String Quartet No. 1, Op. 23: II. Vivace 2:57$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. String Quartet No. 1, Op. 23: III. Andante 6:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. String Quartet No. 1, Op. 23: IV. Allegro con spirito 4:10$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. String Quartet No. 2, Op. 118: I. Allegro 6:05$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. String Quartet No. 2, Op. 118: II. Maestoso con molto rubato - Allegro vivace 4:16$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. String Quartet No. 2, Op. 118: III. Andante 8:17Album Only
listen  8. String Quartet No. 2, Op. 118: IV. Allegretto - Vivace - Lento 8:50Album Only
listen  9. Phantasy, "Vita Abundans": String Quartet Phantasy, "Vita Abundans"10:42Album Only

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Product Details

  • Performer: Maggini Quartet
  • Composer: Malcolm Arnold
  • Audio CD (March 27, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000MRP1TG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,801 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Although better known for his nine Symphonies and his film scores, Malcolm Arnold made a significant contribution to chamber music. His two string quartets form a fascinating contrast. The first comes early in Arnold's career, whereas the second was writt

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dace Gisclard on April 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I love these bizarre quartets, but they definitely are NOT for those seeking "soothing, delicate chamber music". Often the music suggests the alcohol-induced hallucinations of the art of Francis Bacon (Arnold, too was a heavy drinker). Even more than in Mahler (whose works Arnold admired), Arnold's "normal" and commonplace passages are all the more disturbing for their incongruity. Arnold's idiom in such works is a reflection of his unsettled domestic life--read one of his biographies. Not even Bartok's Quartets are so unsettling. Perhaps only Crumb's "Black Angels" surpasses Arnold in sheer yield of gooseflesh, but Sir Malcolm does not aim for so superficial a response.

Arnold the man could be disarmingly convivial, yet also coarse--both traits come through in his music. For those who have come to love this tragically self-destructive composer, who wrote so much great and lovable music, this CD will be an indispensable supplement to the self-portrait of his symphonies. Unlike much of his usually light-hearted chamber music, the tone of these quartets is deadly serious.

Bartok is in Arnold's First Quartet. In 1949, Bartok had only been dead about four years--yet this is NOT a photocopy of his style, and certainly NOT of his comfortable "Hungarian folksy" side (Arnold's Symphony No.1 is from the same year). In the first movement, the smears, glissandi and aggressive accents bring to mind the older composer. However, the music could never be mistaken for Bartok, and there is nothing in Bartok's Quartets quite like the discordant shrieking of the violins whining above the Stravinskian buzz of repeated pizzicati in the trio of the scherzo. A joke? my...uh...foot--rather, the most sarcastic of black humor. The slow movement is intentionally fragmentary, but not aimless.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD is a marvel. Every work on the disc is worth hearing over and over. Arnold's quartets are strong modern works that challenge and satisfy the listener.
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