Maxwell Davies examines the string quartet as an architectural structure on his commission by Naxos Records. He includes snippets of the nine earlier quartets in the Quartet No. 10, the final work in the project. Are you able to discover them?
- The Overture is not what we would expect from the orchestral concert overtures, which always seems to be telling you a story. This overture seems to place you in the middle of the action immediately, constantly asking for your attention.
- Pablo Sarasate (1844-1908) was one of the great late 19th century violinists. As a virtuoso, he was known not only for his faultless execution but also for his purity of tone. He gradually began to write his own music and in 1898 published his second volume of Spanish Dances for violin and piano.
- As a modern work for flute and orchestra, Kernis' Air brings not bravura runs and trills, but a kind of central stillness that lets you appreciate the intrinsic qualities of not only the work but also the instrument.
- Violinist Paul Huang’s recording with pianist Jessica Osborne captures the brilliance of his playing. In his hands, Manuel de Falla’s Danse Espagnole in the wedding scene of La vida breve become a brilliant fiery dance.
- Six Dances, or as one commentator said, three dances in two blocks, was composed over a seven-year period, 1950 to 1957. Some of the dances sound like Mussorgsky and some like folk song, one is concerned with temperament and another is about rhythm. The work as a whole connects the contemporary with the Romantic.
- In his piece, Castelnuovo-Tedesco gives us an equally mixed piece – a bright Italian dance between the cello and the piano, tempered with a northern celebration of summer. It’s clear that Castelnuovo-Tedesco expects his listeners to know the reference he’s giving them.
- In Braga Santo’s second symphonic overture, he took his native city of Lisbon (Lisboa) as its subject. The work opens with a slow introduction, with a theme in the horn that becomes the core of the following Allegro section. Suddenly, the rest of the orchestra enters with a sprightly melody that drives the story forward.