STILL, R.: String Quartets Nos. 1-4 (Villiers Quartet)
Robert Still’s four string quartets vividly encapsulate his compositional career. The first two, of which No. 1 was first performed in 1948, display an early inclination towards folk-song and pre-classical models, while Nos. 3 and 4, written during the 1960s “without key”, reflect his later change towards a continental European-influenced method of composition that can be summed up by the abandonment of writing in a tonal style. These world première recordings owe a considerable debt to the editorial expertise of James Dickenson, leader of the Villiers Quartet, who prepared the performance material from the original scores.
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