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York Guitar Quartet | Elegy

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by York Guitar Quartet

The York Guitar Quartet continues to push the quartet repertoire into new territory with this exciting collection of original compositions and arrangements.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Joropó
3:46 $0.99
2. Elegy
7:32 $0.99
3. Primavera
5:26 $0.99
4. A Great Quirky Trout: I. Enter Forwards
4:46 $0.99
5. A Great Quirky Trout: II. Murky Racer
3:23 $0.99
6. A Great Quirky Trout: III. Dad's TV Chair
6:13 $0.99
7. The Siege of York: I. Almain
3:08 $0.99
8. The Siege of York: II. Pavan
3:54 $0.99
9. The Siege of York: III. Galliard
1:47 $0.99
10. Serenade
4:00 $0.99
11. Jazz on a Summer's Day: I. Waltz
2:34 $0.99
12. Jazz on a Summer's Day: II. Brazilian Fantasy
3:41 $0.99
13. African Suite No.1: I. Dawn
3:14 $0.99
14. African Suite No.1: II. Ritual Dance
1:56 $0.99
15. African Suite No.1: III. Chase
2:21 $0.99
16. Three Bulgarian Dances: I. Dorke
2:18 $0.99
17. Three Bulgarian Dances: II. Bulgarsk
2:11 $0.99
18. Three Bulgarian Dances: III. Bucimis
3:18 $0.99
19. Vyletel Vtak
3:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Elegy - York Guitar Quartet

Andrew Forrest's Joropo is based on a popular folk rhythm from Venezuela and Columbia, whereas his Primavera draws upon an early interest in flamenco music. His composition Elegy is a song of lament, of grief through loss. This piece uses a particularly plaintive scale and angular rhythm as its means of expression. It begins at a slow tempo in declamatory fashion. In the quicker central section, fragments of the opening melody are used fugally. These develop until the separate parts achieve a near resolution. This is never settled though and the pulse slows until the opening melody returns in different guises, lapsing finally into ever smaller fragments and the last few beats fade to silence.

John Mackenzie's A Great Quirky Trout features each of his quartet colleagues in turn and the enigmatic titles will give anagram enthusiasts something to think about. It begins with Enter Forwards, propelled forwards by the bass guitar creating a sense of relentless forward motion and features Andrew Forrest on requinto. Mark Currey is prominent in the second movement, Murky Racer, which in its changing harmonic context takes on a brooding, portentous hue, and which is periodically intruded upon by glimpses of an ornamental figure which will feature in the following movement, Dad’s TV Chair. Here, the theme that David Scarth plays on the bass guitar is set against the background of overlapping voices from the two guitars (thus forming a link with the previous movements).

Friend of the quartet Edward Huws Jones contributes the Siege of York, which takes as its starting point the account of the siege of York in Thomas Mace’s Musick’s Monument (1676). Mace was a vicar choral at York Minster during the siege of 1644 and he gives a vivid account of some of the events. The 'Three Armies' are the 'Scotch', the 'Northern' (Fairfax) and the 'Southern' (Cromwell). He refers to the ‘Divine and Heavenly Raptures’ of the Sunday congregational singing in York Minster, saying, 'It was the best Harmonical Music that I ever heard'. Inspiration for the final movement with its percussive sounds comes from his description of the sounds of battle intruding upon the service: 'A canon bullet has come at the windows and bounc'd about from pillar to pillar, even like Some Furious Fiend or evil spirit backwards and forwards and all manner of sideways...' The musical language of the Siege of York draws on many aspects of English music of the period. There are a number of thematic borrowings from music of the mid-17th century and the four guitars are treated in many ways as lyre viols, alternating between chordal writing and single-line movement.

David Scarth contributes Jazz on a Summer's Day (two pieces which draw upon his past experience in the jazz world), a more traditional Serenade, and African Suite No.1: an evocation of scenes from Africa with some surprising percussion effects. A range of unusual percussive techniques are employed: Ritual Dance is, in effect, a drum solo, whereas the other two movements combine percussion with melodic material and imitations of African instruments such as the Kora (a harp-like instrument) and the Mbira, or thumb piano.

Next we have Three Bulgarian Folk Songs: arrangements by Andrew Forrest, which, despite their asymmetrical meters (having 15, 7 and 11 beats to the bar respectively) are surprisingly conducive to tapping of the feet! The CD ends on a gentle note with another folk song, this time from Slovakia, Vyletel Vták.



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