CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): String Quartets No. 3 in D Minor. Op. 64, No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 99 and No. 7 in C Minor, Op. 166 (World Premiere Recordings).
Catalogue Number: 10U005
Reference: CD 0185
Description: The third quartet of 1896 moves from stern agitation and lyrical poise to introspective intensity before ending with a ferocious, dance-like finale. Completed a decade later, the Fourth is a work of fierce technical challenges, its playful scherzo a dazzling example of Stanford’s love of continuing variation, the melancholic slow movement and virtuoso finale drawing deep from the Dublin-born composer’s richly emotional Irish heritage. The Seventh (1918 or 1919) is one of Stanford’s most varied and vital exercises in the form. Viola and cello are pitched against each other in the stern, contrapuntal dialogue of its first movement with a tour de force scherzo at its heart and a finale that dances delightfully in irregular phrase lengths to end in an energetic flourish. Dante Quartet.