PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934): Naxos Quartets Nos. 7 "Metafore sul Borromini" and 8.
Catalogue Number: 05I083
Description: When this cycle is completed, the extended, serious and meditative Seventh seems likely to be seen as the heart of the series. Based on the idea of a pilgrimage through the architecture of Francesco Borromini, which contrasted meticulous mathematical structure and stunningly virtuosic and dramatic visual illusions and contrasts, the music provides a series of provocative metaphors for Borromini's unusual and elevating use of space. Incorporating elements of Plainsong, sacred motets and Baroque counterpoint in an essentially post-romantic idiom, full of rich harmony and luminous textures, this is one of Davies' most eloquent and personal recent works. The eighth is based on Dowland's Queen Elizabeth's Galliard and acknowledges the influence Dowland has long exerted on Davies own style; a relatively lightweight intermezzo with distinct tonal centres but a ghostly, oblique harmonic sense overall. Written for the 80th birthday of the current Queen Elizabeth, who once notoriously declared that she doesn't like music, in Davies' capacity as 'Master of the Queen's Music' one cannot help but wonder what Her Majesty made of it. Maggini Quartet.