Digital Audio Album
The Offering / Flinders Quartet, with Benjamin Martin, piano.
Featured Australian works
|Scenes from a Poet's Life (2015) String Quartet No. 1||Tom Henry||Flinders Quartet|
|The Offering (2015) for piano quintet||Elena Kats-Chernin||Flinders Quartet, Benjamin Martin|
|String quartet No. 4 : Glimpses from my book of Dada for string quartet||Richard Mills||Flinders Quartet|
||String quartet No. 18 (2010) for string quartet||Peter Sculthorpe||Flinders Quartet||23 mins, 3 sec.|
Flinders Quartet is one of Australia's best-loved and most highly respected chamber music ensembles, acclaimed for dynamic and stirring performances of a full spectrum of repertoire. The quartet also have an ongoing mission to further the Australian tradition of chamber music by commissioning and premiering new works by Australian composers: all four pieces on this disc were commissioned or premiered by the quartet in service of this goal.
Elena Kats-Chernin's The Offering is the composer's first piece for piano quintet. A kaleidoscopic work, it draws on elements and forms from different musical eras; witness the Baroque elegance of the first movement, the ragtime rhythms of the third. Richard Mills' quartet Glimpses from My Book of Dada is full of idiosyncratic observations of life and people, from neighbours dancing in the rain to the behaviour of wombats, from composer and educator Dulcie Holland's aversion to fifths to a surreal dream of Graham Koehne's mother, it is a piece vivid in imagination and vivid in its descriptions.
Peter Sculthorpe's eighteenth and final string quartet is in many ways his most poignant, an evocative depiction of the Australian landscape that he loved so well and its suffering under a changing climate. Widely regarded as one of the greatest modern chamber works, it is by turns dramatic, heroic and filled with longing. Like the Sculthorpe, Tom Henry's Scenes From a Poet's Life pushes the possibilities of the string quartet form, though this is much more personal in scope, as the poet of the title struggles to attain the paradise tantalisingly glimpsed in the process of writing.
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