NYMAN, MICHAEL Chamber Music Vol. 2 String Quartets 1-3. Balanescu Quartet. MN Records

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Nyman Michael Chamber Music Volume 1-3 Balanescu Quartet Mn Records

MICHAEL NYMAN

Chamber Music Volume II

String Quartets 1-3

Balanescu Quartet

The three string quartets were not conceived as a series, as they owe their origins to three very different sets of circumstances, however, re-viewing these three quartets together for the Argo/Decca recording, revealed a consistency of compositional approach which quite unwittingly unifies them and sets them distinctively apart from the majority of my other compositions.

Each quartet is built around the principle of conflict - not necessarily conflict between the instruments, as is the traditional view of the quartet medium, but more interestingly (since it was not a conscious approach) conflict [or maybe dialogue!] between sets of musical material which appear to be at odds with each other: between the pre-formed and the freely-composed.

‘String Quartet No. 1’, for instance, the conflict is between two ‘found’ musical objects, separated both by their cultural origins and by a distance of around 300 years; in ‘String Quartet No,2’ the apparent contradiction is between strictly-observed South Indian rhythmic systems and a doggedly European sensibility; while ‘String Quartet No. 3’ bridges the gap between a choral work written in the summer of 1989 and its transformation into a string quartet, partly through a visitation by a number of Romanian folk music fragments.

12 page booklet with extensive notes written by Michael Nyman.

MN Records MNRCD124

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