OWEN UNDERHILL (b.1954): String Quartets No. 3 “The Alynne” and No. 4 “The Night”, Still Image for Clarinet and String Quartet, Trombone Quintet.
Catalogue Number: 05N072
Reference: CMCCD 17412
Description: The quartets, both driving their impetus from extramusical associations expressed in lines of poetry, share a kind of poetic economy and obliqueness, with spare, economical statements made to carry multiple layers of meaning. Underhill’s language is fairly eclectic, with bold, open-air tonal sections with a folk-influenced feel juxtaposed with more modernistic gestures. The clarinet quintet makes much more use of extended techniques, with quarter-tones and multiphonics in the clarinet part in music whose varying levels of activity suggest a traversal of a sharply contrasted image at different levels of magnification. The Trombone quintet blends subtle and restrained trombone playing, including inventive special mute effects and sung multiphonics, with the strings in two stately melodic movements and two lively dances with lyrical interludes. François Houle (clarinet), Jeremy Berkman (trombone), Quatuor Bozzini.