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Rutland Boughton
STRING QUARTET No.2 in F "From the Welsh Hills"
Goodmusic GM118

Catalogue Number: GM118

ISMN: 9790222288300

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String Quartet 2 in F 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 GM117 for No.1) 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.2: The quartet was originally titled "The Snowdon Quartet" and is a loving souvenir of a holiday Boughton spent with his wife, Kathleen, at Beddgelert. Although he gave titles to each movement he warned that the music was not to be thought of as programmatic except in the sense that it was a personal reaction to "the emotional pleasure one has in natural beauty of a certain kind". The angry third movement, "Satire", mirrored his distress at finding that Snowdon had fallen victim to civilization - in particular to an undignified tin-hut 'hotel' at the summit - and consequently has jagged themes and dissonant harmonies. Boughton declared that the form of the quartet is in accordance with Classical precepts and therefore is in need of no explanation!
The four movements are: Landscape: Purple and Grey - from the valleys; Landscape: Green and Gold - from the summits; Satire; Song of the Hills
Duration 28 minutes
Score and parts included. The audio sample is of the first movement.

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