"Solem quartet's playing is sensitive, wonderfully blended, incisive where needed, but above all powerfully communicative ... [Finnis' String Quartet No. 3] alternates prayerful movements with others suggesting the human heartbeat – at times gently throbbing, at others irregular and anxious. Finnis’s music is minutely attentive to the careful weighting of harmony and dissonance, so that every bar draws the listener in and feels urgently consequential ... The longest single track on the album is Camden Reeves’s 2019 The Blue Windows (String Quartet No.5), inspired by Marc Chagall’s stained-glass triptych America Windows of 1976. In the composer’s own words, ‘individual planes of harmony overlap, interlock, and blend into one another’. In many ways, this masterfully-paced work feels like a luminescent, mesmerising extension of late Beethoven (a strong influence on Reeves’s music), and its hypnotic beauty is infused with moments of intense dissonance and exquisitely-held single notes which are played with rapt beauty and expertly deployed spareness of tone ... Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now provides a gentle conclusion to a programme of fascinating colours and subtle intensity, vividly captured in Willards Barn, Godalming, by producer/engineer Paul Baxter. With detailed booklet notes by Anthony Friend, this Delphian disc is a welcome exploration of new and neglected repertoire that makes for compelling listening for all lovers of the string quartet genre"
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