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Cover
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford

RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet

String Quartets Nos 1 & 2

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  • Type CD
  • Label Helios
  • UPC 0034571154596
  • Catalog number CDH 55459
  • Release date 18 July 14

About the album

Think of Stanford and the genre of the string quartet probably won’t come to mind. But he composed no fewer than eight such works over a twenty-eight year period, inspired by his friendship with the great violinist Joseph Joachim. Stanford had already composed a number of large-scale chamber works before he began his first string quartet in the summer of 1891, when he was thirty-nine; the second string quartet followed immediately during a burst of dazzling creativity. Both quartets are serious, big-boned works that show Stanford’s mastery of the idiom and ability as a contrapuntist, although they generally display textures that are lighter and more transparent than the thicker palette of Brahms (with whom Stanford is sometimes compared). These delightful works also reveal Stanford’s love of song and lyricism. Throughout, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet plays with a rare sensitivity and a natural eloquence.
The Horn Fantasy—a later work, dating from 1922—is dramatic, compelling and flawlessly written for the genre (a rare combination of instruments and quite possibly composed as a tribute to Mozart, whom Stanford greatly admired), and it is superbly played by Stephen Stirling.
All works are here recorded for the first time.

  • 1
    1
    String Quartet No. 1 in G Major, Op. 44: I. Allegro assai
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    08:50
  • 1
    2
    String Quartet No. 1 in G Major, Op. 44: II. Poco allegro e grazioso – Presto – Tempo I – Presto – Tempo I
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    04:38
  • 1
    3
    String Quartet No. 1 in G Major, Op. 44: III. Largo con molto espressione
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    10:07
  • 1
    4
    String Quartet No. 1 in G Major, Op. 44: IV. Allegro molto
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    05:32
  • 1
    5
    String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 45: I. Molto moderato – Più moto – Tempo I – Più moto – Tempo I
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    09:40
  • 1
    6
    String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 45: II. Prestissimo
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    02:36
  • 1
    7
    String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 45: III. Andante espressivo
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    07:29
  • 1
    8
    String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 45: IV. Allegro molto
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    07:30
  • 1
    9
    Fantasy for Horn Quintet in A Minor
    Composer: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
     
    11:48

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