Bowen: String Quartets Nos. 2, 3
Archaeus Quartet; Lines
Composed by: Bowen, York
Described by Saint-Saëns as ‘the most remarkable of the young British composers’, York Bowen was widely known as a pianist and as a composer, his fame reaching its zenith in the years immediately preceding the First World War. The writer and composer Thomas Dunhill described Bowen’s chamber music as ‘an essentially healthy and breezy phase in modern art’. This is especially true of the 1922 Carnegie Trust Award-winning Second Quartet, and while both quartets are based on clear-cut classical models the Third is more elusive and intimate in feeling, revealing the composer’s rarely displayed private side. The atmospheric Phantasy-Quintet provides a rare opportunity to hear the beauty of the bass clarinet in a truly eloquent and expressive soloist capacity.