Cresswell: Music for String Quartet

Two ends of the world are bridged in this compelling survey of string chamber music by Lyell Cresswell, whose unique body of work has been a vital presence in his adopted home of Scotland for four decades now while retaining qualities of light, space and openness that evoke his native New Zealand. The imposing String Quartet plays host to a wealth of detail which enriches but never obscures the ‘long, strong tune’ that threads through the work. Capricci is a set of vividly individual dances, Ricercari a sequence of variations inspired by Cresswell’s favourite living painter. Instrumental virtuosity comes to the fore in Kotetetete, whose title puns on ‘quartet’ and on the Maori word for ‘chattering’.

"The virtuosity of the Red Note Ensemble’s playing makes for a warm recommendation, not least for those still to encounter Cresswell’s distinctive sound world."

"The arched intensity of this performance is breathtaking, at its heart the sustained angst of the central movement, dissipating into the reflective wailings and ethereal positioning of the third. Red Note end on a brief frenzied note with the opening movement of the Maori-inspired Kotetetete"

"Cresswell has forged his own musical path with the kind of non-conforming individuality on which New Zealanders-and Scots-pride themselves, but also a no-nonsense directness which is also common to both his native and adopted cultures, which in musical terms manifests as a communicative approachability even when the harmonies and timbres become quite unexpected and unfamiliar, as is often the case"


"The Red Note Ensemble, a Scottish group specialising in new music, gives taut, precise performances, played with conviction."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Release Date: 20 April 2018
Catalogue No: DCD34199
Total playing time: 1:00:37

You may also like ...