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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67381/2
Recording details: July 2002
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2002
Total duration: 25 minutes 9 seconds

'An entrancing voyage of discovery' (Gramophone)

'This set would draw interest even if it didn't contain five world premiere recordings, such is the quality and insight of the music-making' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Nash’s playing is simply outstanding and makes the best possible case for giving many of these works a permanent place in the repertoire' (The Daily Telegraph)

'In these performances, there is an admirable sense of the discovery of previously unknown music of quality. The recordings are excellent. This is a major and exciting addition to the Vaughan Williams discography. Very strongly recommended' (International Record Review)

'The Nash Ensemble play with their customary blend of flawless perfection and musical insight' (The Times)

'The Nash Ensemble's performances are superb' (The Sunday Times)

'The Nash Ensemble plays these stunning miniatures with all the freshness and excitement of a new discovery' (The Strad)

'exuberant, robust, immensely likeable music (The Nash Ensemble obviously love playing it)' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This revelatory collection of early chamber works by the giant of the 20th-century English style is fascinating and captivating' (The Scotsman)

'The Nash Ensemble play these first performances with passion and aplomb … very good indeed' (BBCi)

'The Nash Ensemble plays with sensitivity, beauty, and taste. It may well have replaced the old Melos Ensemble as my favorite British chamber consort … They have at least two more Hyperion CDs devoted to Vaughan Williams's chamber music (instrumental and vocal), both of high quality. This, I think, is the best of the three, and it's beautifully recorded besides' (Classical Music)

'The Nash Ensemble performs all of this music with boundless enthusiasm and technical assurance … This is a ‘must’ for anyone who cares about Vaughan Williams' (ClassicsToday.com)

'Un must pour tous, et un apport fondamental à la discographie' (Répertoire, France)

'les musiciens du Nash mettent leur technique et leur enthousiasme au service d’une matière inégale' (Diapason, France)

String Quartet in C minor
composer
1898

Allegro  [7'05]
Andantino  [6'35]

Introduction
The String Quartet in C minor was composed in the winter of 1898 and first performed at the Oxford and Cambridge Musical Club on 30 June 1904. It is more than probable that it was not heard again until a performance by students at the Royal College of Music on 15 March 2002. It is in four movements, the last being a theme and six variations with fugal finale, and the writing for the quartet is extremely accomplished. The opening Allegro is Dvorák-ish in its lyricism, though there is a darker, more brooding atmosphere towards the close. It is tempting to detect a hint of folksong in the theme of the Andantino, played by the viola, but that would be stretching hindsight too far. The movement has a wistful melancholy that carries over into the Intermezzo, a song-like episode containing some of the most virtuosic writing in the work. The theme of the Finale is ballad-like with a suggestion of eighteenth-century elegance. Modality creeps in in the ‘Adagio’ variation and there is rhythmic exhilaration in the succeeding Presto. What can perhaps be most admired in this very attractive quartet is its conciseness. It gets straight to the point and, once having made it, leaves it at that.

from notes by Michael Kennedy 2002

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