Dominic Sewell – From Italy, With Love (String Quartet)
A solid, serious work for aspiring string quartets or established groups, this piece was the subject of a master class from the Wihan Quartet from the Czech Republic. The quartet, inspired by Janáček's Intimate Letters quartet, was similarly inspired by letters from a woman to her lover. It is scored in three contrasting movements consisting of a gestural first movement, a slow arch form second movement and a fiery syncopated 5/4 finale.
A solid, serious work for aspiring string quartets or established groups, this piece was the subject of a master class from the Wihan Quartet from the Czech Republic. The quartet, inspired by Janáček's Intimate Letters quartet, was similarly inspired by letters from a woman to her lover. It is scored in three contrasting movements consisting of a gestural first movement, a slow arch form second movement and a fiery syncopated 5/4 finale. Review:"This is one of those pieces that although completely new to me, I could connect with it immediately. It is rare for me to be really moved by a 20th/21st century work the first time I hear or play it, but I'm not ashamed to say that I was genuinely moved to tears at points during the first play through of this quartet. It has a sincerity that rings throughout. I also loved how challenging it was – even after rehearsal, this piece keeps the performer on his/her toes, rhythmically and texturally. It is vibrant, emotional and intellectually satisfying." – Annelies Scott (tutor at Pro Corda and a 'cello teacher). Review: "I have heard a number of pieces by Dominic Sewell. He has a lively music intelligence, and his songs in particular, which – quite unusually today – are one of the main features of his output as a composer, demonstrate his strong lyrical gift – as does the string quartet, which has impressive contrasts both of mood and texture." – David Matthews, composer, February 2002
Born in 1973, Dominic studied violin and singing from a very early age and attended Westminster Cathedral Choir School and subsequently the Oratory School in Reading. He read music at Oxford University with Susan Wollenberg, John Warwack and Bojan Bujic. After graduating in 1994 he established himself as a composer and copyist/orchestrator working on programmes such as BBC 1's 'Walking with Beasts' with the composer Ben Bartlett, as well as an album with Sarah Brightman, music for film and the score for the Bedlam Theatre Company's touring work 'Dark Woods Beyond'. Dominic also composes music for the concert hall and his work is performed throughout the country and in Europe. Having won a national competition for a series of wind commissions in 2000 he soon established himself as a composer of British song with a series of concerts and master classes at the Guildhall School, at St. Cyprian's Church and at Cadogan Hall. The recent premiere of his Piano Trio in the Guildford Spring Festival received significant praise, and as a result the trio will give a performance in Mexico in 2007.
Dominic's studies at the Royal College of Music London with Joseph Horovitz in 2005 were supported by a Performing Rights Society Foundation Scholarship to study, and in September 2006 he started studying for his doctorate. D ominic has recently been part of a new work for English National Ballet, with the principal dancer Yat-sen Chang, that was performed at the Britten theatre (RCM) in September 2006 followed by a worldwide tour. He also has a commission from the father and son Ashkenazy piano duo for a Japanese tour in 2007. Dominic's music does not easily categorise but he writes in both tonal and atonal idioms, following on from the traditions of Britten, Tippett and Maw. He also teaches composition at Trinity College of Music Junior Department and at the flourishing music faculty at Godalming College in Surrey. www.dominicsewell.co.uk
Written above all to be enjoyed by the players, audiences have shown that they too share that same delight. Both of Mason's string quartets are in four movements which exploit the instruments on equal terms, and both are in a musical language that enables the strings to sing as they should. These two quartets will happily share any programme with music from Haydn to Debussy and beyond.
Tonal, well crafted and lasting the test of time, this second string quartet was written in New York. The work received its first broadcast by the David Martin String Quartet on BBC Radio 3 in September 1947, and received its first performance in July 1952 at the Cheltenham Festival with the New London String Quartet. For professionals and advanced students.
A contemporary work in one movement that was begun in 1939 when the composer was in his fourth and last year at the Royal College of Music. It was completed in New York, receiving its first performance on the 21st April 1940 by the Galimir Quartet in a series of concerts promoted by the New York Public Library.
The result of a commission by the Rugby Sinfonia in 1984, this string quartet version of Allegro Risotto is an ambitious one movement work that contrasts lively, energetic sections (containing exciting rhythms and occasional unequal bar lengths) with calmer, more lyrical passages.