JACQUES HÉTU (1938-2010): String Quartets No. 1, Op. 19 and No. 2, Op. 50, String Sextet, Op. 71, Sérénade for Flute and String Quartet, Op. 45, Adagio and Rondo for String Quartet, Op. 3/1a, Scherzo for Violin and String Trio, Op. 54.
Catalogue Number: 10Q072
Description: The First Quartet is in an angular, very apparently Bartok-influenced language, tonal but rather ambiguously, very chromatically so. Two decades later, the somber Second has a good deal more in common with Shostakovich, beginning and ending with eloquent slow movements separated by a boisterous, motoric scherzo, and with an emphasis on long melodic lines. The Scherzo from the following year compresses both characteristics into a succinct rondo form, while the slightly earlier serenade is a bucolic, lyrical work, ending with a lively dance, and the Sextet, a set of variations on a theme reminiscent of the sadly reflective mood of the second Quartet's outer movements, with a masterly control of the ebb and flow of tension throughout. New Orford String Quartet, Steven Dann (viola), Colin Carr (cello), Timothy Hutchins (flute).