"This cd contains daring, challenging, emotionally heavily loaded and occasionally, misty and extremely complex music for the enthusiast, played by four top musicians."Stretto, 02-11-2018
The inspiration for the album began with their commission of Joseph Phibbs’ String Quartet No 1 in 2014, premiered at the Rye Arts Festival, where audiences were enthusiastic to hear the work again.
The Three Idylls by Frank Bridge are apt companion pieces to the Variations on a theme by Frank Bridge by Benjamin Britten.
The finale to this British-themed compendium owes its inclusion to the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, where the Piatti Quartet won a special prize in 2015 for a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s piece Contusion.
This is the world-premiere recording of Twisted Blues with Twisted Ballad, premiered in 2010 by the Belcea Quartet. In this piece the outer movements draw on themes by Led Zeppelin, from Dazed and Confused and Stairway to Heaven and the central movement is dedicated to Fausto Moroni, long-term partner of the composer Hans Werner Henze with whom Turnage studied.
The Piatti Quartet are one of the most distinguished quartets of their generation. Prizewinners at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, they have performed in all the major venues and festivals around the country as well as concerts throughout the world, with national broadcasts on BBC Radio, ABC (Australia), RTÉ (Ireland) and France Musique (France).
The Piattis are renowned for their diversity, commitment and passionate interpretations across the spectrum of quartet writing. World premieres are regularly performed alongside old masterpieces and the Piattis are particularly known for expanding the quartet genre through their collaborations with leading British composers. Current and recent premieres include new works by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Darren Bloom, Emily Howard (The Music of Proof with celebrated mathematician Marcus du Sautoy), Simon Holt, Freya Waley-Cohen and Jacques Cohen. The quartet have collaborated with artists such as Ian Bostridge, Michael Collins, Krzysztof Chorzelski, Julius Drake, Charles Owen and Guy Johnston.
The Quartet’s other recordings have been released on the Linn Records, NMC and Champs Hill labels, including the Piatti’s lauded contribution to the complete string quartet works of Felix Mendelssohn (Champs Hill), which was BBC Music Magazine’s Critic’s Choice (September 2014). Most recently, the Quartet was featured on a jazz concept album released by 33 Records and critical acclaim for this recording has included a 4.5* review from Downbeat Magazine.
Recent seasons have included debuts in Rotterdam, Istanbul, and Barcelona, and concerts at the Aldeburgh Festival. At the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the Piatti Quartet won overall 2nd Prize as well as the St. Lawrence SQ prize and the Sidney Griller Award for the best performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Contusion.
The Piatti Quartet takes its name from the great 19th-century cellist Alfredo Piatti, who was a leading professor and exponent of chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music.
Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with the legendary cellist Rostropovich led to a Cello sonata, three Suites for cello solo and a Symphony for Cello and orchestra in the 1960s.
Britten never became Master of the Queen's Music, yet he surely had feeling for public sentiments. For example, as a pacifist, he taught his people about world peace through his War Requiem from 1962. Britten was an excellent interpreter of his own work, just like Bartók and Stravinsky. Many of his recordings have been matched, but never exceeded.
This cd contains daring, challenging, emotionally heavily loaded and occasionally, misty and extremely complex music for the enthusiast, played by four top musicians.