BRETT DEAN (b.1961): Epitaphs for String Quintet, Eclipse (String Quartet No. 1), String Quartet No. 2 “And once I played Ophelia” for Soprano and String Quartet.

Catalogue Number: 10R078

Label: Chandos

Reference: CHAN 10873

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: A world-class viola player, Dean might be expected to write meticulously wrought and inventive music for string soloists, and so this disc demonstrates. The music is intricate, with all voices given equal opportunity for expressive and technical prominence. Epitaphs commemorates five friends and colleagues of the composer in a varied set of character pieces full of personal allusions. The First Quartet, like many of Dean's work, refers to social issues; the refugee incident off the Australian coast in 2001. Also characteristically, the work begins in ambiguous extended textures but gradually coalesces into more stable harmonic and rhythmic material. The 2nd Quartet adds Schoenberg's soprano to the ensemble for a fragile, febrile portrait of Shakespeare's Ophelia. Texts included. Allison Bell (soprano), Doric String Quartet with Brett Dean (viola).

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