Tonal, well crafted and lasting the test of time, this fifth string quartet was written in London and premiered by the New London Quartet at the Cheltenham Town Hall on the 26th April 1962. It received its first London performance in May 1983 at the Purcell Room. For professionals and advanced students.
Tonal, well crafted and lasting the test of time, this fifth string quartet was written in London and premiered by the New London Quartet at the Cheltenham Town Hall on the 26th April 1962. It received its first London performance in May 1983 at the Purcell Room. For professionals and advanced students. Review: "Sadly, I only know two of Arnell's six string quartets, the last four of which have all been premiered at the Cheltenham Festival, as was the String Quintet which made its appearance in 1950. The Quartet No. 5 Opus 99 dates from 1962 and has been very well received at all its performances. As with the Symphony No. 6 there are some harsh dissonances and it has a novelty of form. The opening Andante Maestoso is a canon on four subjects; there is a very attractive Andante, an accompanied 'cello solo, a duo for violin and viola, a trio and then all four players unite to conclude the work." – Dr. David C.F. Wright Ph.D September 1994
Richard Arnell was born in London in 1917 and educated at the Hall School, Hampstead and University College School before entering the Royal College of Music where he studied composition with John Ireland and Piano with Sir John Dykes. It was here that he began his first string quartet which was first performed by the Galimer Quartet at the 52nd Street New York Public Library in 1940. In 1938 he was awarded the Farrar Prize for composition. Between 1939 and 1947 he wrote his first important compositions, including his first three symphonies, concertos for violin and for piano and three string quartets. He was taken up by eminent conductors, among them Leopold Stokowski and Sir Thomas Beecham. From 1943 to 1946 he was music consultant to the BBC's North American Service. In 1947 he returned to England and became a composition teacher at Trinity College of Music, remaining on the staff until his retirement in 1987. He became an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1950 and a Principal Lecturer in 1981. He was appointed as music director and board member of the London International Film School from 1975 to 1988 when he retired. Arnell died in 2009.
Most string quartets are long, but this short little piece in one movement was intended as an encore item, but could also fit comfortably into any portfolio for weddings or other functions. For schools, colleges, conservatories and professionals.
This sixth string quartet is in six sections, played almost without a break. Begun in 1987 the work was subsequently abandoned, then restarted in 1990 and completed in May 1992. Premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival. For professionals and advanced students.
This piece is all about the fun side of country music. Don't Ask is the simple answer to the question asking what happens next. Freedom is a spiritual from the rural state of Tennessee, starting with a lone plaintive cry that becomes a statement of optimism as more people join in. In Pam! Bam! Zonk! the drinking gets a little too much for some, so this movement is a glorious fight.
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.