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Australian String Quartet

Paul Stanhope: Three Quartets (CD)

Brilliantly performed by the Australian String Quartet, this is a landmark recording and a transformative musical experience.

The Australian String Quartet (ASQ) has been creating unforgettable performances for audiences around the world for nearly half a century. Dedicated to musical excellence with a distinctly Australian flavour, the ASQ here presents three powerful and beautiful string quartets by multi-award-winning Australian composer Paul Stanhope.

Rhapsodic and elegiac outer sections frame a pizzicato dance riff in "Elegies and Dances," Stanhope’s first quartet – a musical contemplation of mortality, the fragile and precious beauty of new life and its infinite possibilities.

"String Quartet No. 2" reflects on the fate of the Czech composer Pavel Haas, murdered in the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz. More broadly, it is informed by the refugee experience: persecution and flight, but also arrival and new beginnings.

"Quartet No. 3" From the Kimberley explores aspects of the story of the Indigenous resistance hero Jandamarra, a Bunuba man revered by his people to this day as a Jalgangurru – a figure of great cultural and spiritual power. Its three movements span themes of hunting and being hunted; grief and loss; and hope born from the unbreakable connection between people and country.

String Quartet No. 1 'Elegies & Dances'

String Quartet No. 2
I. Prelude
II. Flight
III. Dirge (Variations)
IV. Scherzo

String Quartet No. 3 'From the Kimberley'
I. Tracks & Traces
II. Dirrari Lament
III. River-Run

Australian String Quartet
Dale Barltrop violin I
Francesca Hiew violin II
Stephen King / Christopher Cartlidge (track 1) viola
Sharon Grigoryan / Michael Dahlenburg (track 1) cello