JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): String Quartet No. 7 "Summer Eves", ADRIAN WILLIAMS (b.1956): String Quartet No. 4, MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Oboe Quintet "Into the Ravine".
Catalogue Number: 02P087
Description: A nicely varied program of strongly individual British chamber works, all with firm foundations in tonality and thoroughly accessible while displaying the individuality of the composers. Berkeley's work is based on a powerful landscape painting by the mildly cubist/futurist- influenced neo-romantic painter John Craxton. The music is predominantly dark-hued and hauntingly elegiac, with a sense of loneliness and uncertainty. McCabe's quartet is his most 'classically' structured, with a somberly eloquent slow movement at its heart, twin scherzi, the first buoyant and fleet-footed, the second more aggressive. The first movement is in elegant sonata form, with Haydn's influence quite apparent; the finale a very English-sounding rondo. The Williams contrasts stormy, dramatic emotional intensity with lyrical music of great beauty and stillness. The slow movement has more than a little of the restrained passion of late Beethoven about it, its deeply felt lyrical solemnity contrasting with the agitated striving of the first movement and the energetic race toward the hard-won, triumphant peroration of the finale. Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Carducci String Quartet.