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Dag Wiren String Quartets no 2-5

Lysell Quartet

Daphne CD 1021 [Recording Time 72 mins]


Dag Wiren (1905-1986) lived on fourteen years after ceasing composing in 1972, saying "One must stop in time, while one still has the sense to stop in time".... He was a hard working and prolific craftsman whose music, best known to older listeners for the famous March of his Serenade for Strings (a signature tune for a popular TV programme) - hear it at http://www.classicalmidi.co.uk/pagecomstoz.htm.

This CD is a great discovery; a body of finely wrought string quartets characterised by buoyant textures (as idiomatic as Haydn's or Mendelssohn's) and thoughtfulness which is not obscure. Most of his string quartets should be staple diet for chamber music concerts in countries other than his own. They have a lucidity and tunefulness but a re far from simplistic.


Dag Wiren discards Nos 0 & 1 of the seven (but you should not always trust composers who say that) and the rest of them make for enjoyable and compelling listening. To check out the idiom to your taste, see if any of the sample tracks on line grab you?


I agree with the five-star comment on CD Universe, that "Wiren's String Quartets have a freshness of imagination and romantic ambiance few composers str ive for anymore - - listeners not adverse to lush sonority and tightly organized form will find much pleasure".

Fine recording in the right ambience; interesting biographical notes about "a strong willed man of great integrity".




© Peter Grahame Woolf