ACCLAIM FOR NAXOS QUARTETS 3 and 4 FROM “ACROSS
Naxos Releases New Maxwell Davies Quartets CD in UK on March 28th
to Positive Reviews; US Release Date April 19th
On March 28th, Naxos released the world premiere
recording of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Naxos Quartets Nos. 3 and
4, performed by the Maggini Quartet, in the United Kingdom.
Here is what UK critics have been saying about the new recording:
Writing for string quartet has forced Max to simplify his language;
these latest essays in the genre, commissioned by the Naxos record label
as part of a series of 10, are even more elegiac and economically
impressive than the first two. . . . The Magginis remain
impressive advocates of Max’s late-flowering muse.
--Andrew Clark, The Financial Times
Davies initially intended his third Naxos Quartet, written in the spring
of 2003, to be a work of formidable organisational complexity.
. . . The invasion of Iraq took it in a different direction. The
result is a powerful piece, conveying desolation and a sense of frustration.
. . . The Maggini Quartet play both works with finesse.
--Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times
**** (four stars)
Both works are based upon Davies’s now familiar range of technical
devices—the magic squares, transformations of plainsong fragments
and carefully plotted harmonic progressions—but they also graft
on further musical references and carry layers of extra-musical allusion.
No. 3, with its minatory opening march, deliberately grotesque scherzo
and bleak finale, is Davies’s response to the invasion of Iraq,
while the single-movement Fourth was designed to be much lighter an
less aggressive than its predecessor, with Breughel’s painting
of children’s games as its direct inspiration.
-- Andrew Clements, The Guardian
PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934): NAXOS
QUARTETS 3 and 4
U.S. Release Date: April 19th, 2005
PETER MAXWELL DAVIES: Naxos Quartets 1 and 2
Release Date: November 16th, 2004
- THE NEW YORK TIMES SELECTION: “THE BEST CLASSICAL CD’s
- GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE EDITOR’S CHOICE
- MUSIC WEB DISC OF THE MONTH, OCTOBER 2004
His music is both craggy and accessible. The Naxos Quartets—a
cycle that the composer likens to a serialized novel in 10 chapters -open
with rocky, beautiful bursts of activity, setting forth a landscape in
which the composer deliberately seeks to evoke the green but uncompromising
slopes of Orkney. -- Anne Midgette, The New York Times
This first instalment of a 10-quartet cycle...sets out its stall
with audacity and verve... (The Maggini Quartet’s) live performances
of this music give it an easy eloquence that grabs the ear and won’t
let go. -- James Jolly, Gramophone Magazine
If this initial instalment is anything to go by, Sir Peter Maxwell
Davies’s ambitious series of 10 Naxos Quartets is already shaping
up to be quite a journey. -- Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone
I fervently recommend this disc to you
as a most auspicious start to chamber music in our new century. --
David Denton, The Strad