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Rutland Boughton
STRING QUARTET No.1 in A based on Greek Folk-Songs
Goodmusic GM117

Catalogue Number: GM117

ISMN: 9790222288294

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String Quartet 1 in A image
Rutland Boughton (1878-1960) was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and was taught by Stanford and Walford Davies at the Royal College of Music. For a while he was professor of singing and taught music at the Birmingham Institute of Music under Granville Bantock, later moving to Glastonbury where, until 1926, he established his highly successful annual Festivals.
Each of Boughton's two string quartets (see GM118 for No.2) was written in 1923 when he was enjoying great success in London and reflects his exuberant mood at his recent dramatic success and the union with his third wife, Kathleen. They were first performed at a series of three chamber music concerts which he presented at the Aeolian Hall, London in 1923, the 'Greek' quartet on 12th October and the 'Welsh' on 19th October. Boughton advertised the concerts as being " . . . not for high-brows, but for the general musical public who still believe in the common-chord and an occasional tune", compounding this by adding that there were to be "no free tickets even for 'the profession'." The critics were mixed in their reaction, so he presented for a second performance on 26th October the quartet which they had most disliked - the 'Greek'. The performances seem to have left something to be desired and the fact that he insisted that the audience hear the works for the first time in a darkened auditorium with the players behind a screen, did not add to the success of the occasion.
Quartet No.1: Boughton's brief programme note for the performance on 26th October explains the 'Greek' title: "The Summer School at Glastonbury last year was devoted to the study of Greek drama. One of the stage productions was The Trachiniae of Sophocles, in the English version of Plumtre. The choruses were sung to adaptations of Greek Folk Songs, unaccompanied. Those tunes haunted me, till last summer I managed to lay their ghosts by using some of them in the making of this quartet. It is fashioned with conventional form, so the listener need not be bothered with a pedantic analysis. The sub-titles of the movements have been added as key-words to their preponderant emotion; they have no further meaning or value."
The four movements are: Apollonian; Dionysian; Threnody; Aphrodisian
Duration 28 minutes
Score and parts included. The audio sample is of the first movement.

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