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String (2007), composed for and premiered by the Sacconi Quartet at Wigmore Hall (11 March 2008), is another single span of music but in the way it behaves it is something else altogether. It avoids the composer’s usual predilection for block structures and sharply defined materials and instead concentrates on an elusive counterpoint, in which the composer loops a number of short phrases against each other. Lines and sections bleed into each other, creating a texture of blurred polyphony that is fluid and elastic. There is a quite startling change of texture around two thirds of the way through where the predominant argument is suddenly and brutally interrupted by some climactic arpeggiation; just as suddenly it returns to where it was before that happened and the texture runs its course before drifting off. There’s no evidence that Fitkin regards the Cornish landscape and culture as a tangible influence on his work. But this writer at least finds it impossible to disregard the feel of an elemental, ‘English mystic’ type of music in String and was reminded of a certain Englishness or mystic pastoralism from the mid to late 20th Century … there are moments where it’s not a million miles away from Michael Tippett. There really is nothing quite like String in Graham Fitkin’s output.

from notes by Laurence Crane © 2017


Fitkin: String Quartets
Studio Master: SIGCD518Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 5 on SIGCD518 [9'10] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD518 track 5

Recording date
5 December 2016
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Raphaël Mouterde
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch & Michael Gerrard
Hyperion usage
  1. Fitkin: String Quartets (SIGCD518)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: December 2017
    Download only
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