A fun light hearted vivacious piece in samba rhythm for string quartet by Ronald Reed that is both enjoyable to play and to listen to.
Ronald Read was born in London in 1924. After serving in the Royal Navy during World War II he completed a degree in mathematics at the University of Cambridge and took up a position at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. In 1970 he accepted a post as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada - a post which he held until his retirement in 1990. A keen amateur musician from an early age (he started to learn the violin at age 6) he was active in many kinds of music: solo, chamber, orchestral and early music. He also played several instruments including strings, piano, guitar and lute. After retiring he devoted much more time to music and acquired diplomas in Theory and in Composition from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He spent his last years living in Oakville, Ontario, where he taught piano and music theory, as well as playing viola in the local symphony orchestra and in a string quartet. His compositions include three works for orchestra and a number of pieces for small ensembles. He died on the 7th January 2019.
This piece by Dominic Sewell was written for the Junior Course at Pro Corda Summer School (the National String Chamber Music Academy) where it received its first performance. It is an excellent introduction to tonal contemporary music for younger students aged 12 to 18. The piece is good for teaching purposes as it is short but also provides some technical and ensemble difficulties.
Written in New York in 1945 and premiered by the Blech String Quartet on the 30th June 1945 at the Cheltenham Festival, the heart of this quartet is its beautifully integrated slow movement. For professionals and advanced students.
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.
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.
'Frisco by those in the know is a jewel of a city. The titles of the four movements tell it all - Keeping Ahead of yourself is what you have to do in a city with a glorious past but an uncertain and uneasy present. Light Reflecting from the Bridge seems to warm the whole city, bathing it in a gently reddish hue. Alongside the pathway in one of the city parks is a sand track for horses, and every now and then you see Footprints in the Sand, some are in couples, others alone. The thoughts of those people who are alone touches you, but it is the Time to Be Certain and you regain your beliefs and confidence.