John Anthony Lennon, Sheila Silver: String Quartets
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL520     Release Date: 2011-07-15
Kronos Quartet: (David Harrington, violin; John Sherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; Joan Jeanrenaud, cello); Atlantic Quartet: (Linda Quan, violin; Evan Paris, violin; Lois Martin, viola; Chris Finckel, cello)

Voices for string quartet was written in Paris in 1982 and dedicated to the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. The title refers both to the concept of each line singing and to the term applied in harmony for different melodic lines within a homophonic or contrapuntal texture. The work is in one movement delineated by four solos, one for each instrument. Motivic material returns in varying manners lending a sense of rondo form, however, it is basically through-composed. Hopefully, the overall feeling is one of spontaneity and passion.
—John Anthony Lennon

My String Quartet, written in 1974-75 and revised in 1980, is the earliest of my compositions which I still care to hear; in short, I think of it as Opus 1. Conceived in two movements, the first is a short and energetic allegro. The second, much longer, begins with a slow lyrical section developed in part from double string tremolos (inspired by Brahms' Cello and Piano Sonata in F Major) in which one string is always open so that a particularly vibrant resonance is established in the instruments. Gradually, after a playful pizzicato section, the music becomes faster and more aggressive. Phrases of a nervous, almost obsessive quality are juxtaposed with calmer, more lyrical ones. Eventually the alternation leads to a predominance of the jagged maniacal music until a long sustained climax is reached. Dissolution comes with a viola cadenza, followed by a tranquil coda reminiscent of the opening.
—Sheila Silver


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Various Artists

John Anthony Lennon, Sheila Silver: String Quartets

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Track Listing

Voices
John Anthony Lennon
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String Quartet: I. Allegro aggressivo
Sheila Silver
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String Quartet: II. Tranquillo
Sheila Silver
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