KEVIN RAFTERY (b.1951): String Quartet No. 1 (Heath Quartet), First Companion for Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin and Cello, Pleasantries for Reed Quartet (Berkeley Ensemble), Friedhof Quintet for Flute, Harp and Strng Trio (Animare Ensemble).
Catalogue Number: 06S076
Reference: msv 28569
Description: Raftery's music is accessible and communicative, although his idiom is modern, with no strong adherence to conventional tonality. Where his music does have a connection to tradition is in its lyrical and melodic character, which is constantly present. The quartet was written in memory of a friend of the composer, and bears traces of conventional forms, though its vocabulary is very personal. The quintet refers to the peacefulness of cemeteries, the somber reflection that such places evoke, and the detached yet beautiful and calm birdsong that can often be heard there. Companion is a set of character pieces intended to accompany several difficult-to-program works for similar forces, and the witty little Pleasantaries, taking their titles from popular figures of speech, are miniatures for reeds, dedicated to American composers including Babbitt, Carter, Feldman and Zappa.