BENJAMIN LEES (b.1924): String Quartets Nos. 1, 5 and 6.
Catalogue Number: 08L090
Description: Tonal but obviously modern works with themes and motives mostly supplanting melodies as means of construction, these quartets come from opposite ends of Lees' career. No. 1 is from 1952 and has a relaxed, confident manner which won it much praise at the time. The other two works were written for the quartet which has recorded them here: No. 5 as a commission for a quartet "inspired by Shostakovich and Britten", allowing Lees' sardonic wit, refined sense of harmony and delight in constrasts and surprises to come to the fore, and No. 6 (2005) which, although tending toward slow movements, has many of the same stylistic fingerprints. Cypress String Quartet.