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Dag Wiren String Quartets no 2-5

Lysell Quartet

Daphne CD 1021 [Recording Time 72 mins]

A great discovery; a body of finely wrought string quartets by a composer best known by 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.


Dag Wiren (1905-1986) was a hard working and prolific craftsman whose music is characterised by 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. Wiren discards Nos 0 & 1 of the seven (but you should not always atrust 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? Fine recording in the right ambience; interesting biographical notes about "a strong willed man of great integrity".


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 strive for anymore - - listeners not adverse to lush sonority and tightly organized form will find much pleasure".


Dag Wiren 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"....


© Peter Grahame Woolf