Cindy Cox: PatagónMusicWeb International‘s Paul Corfield Godfrey adds to the growing praise for the Alexander String Quartet’s Cindy Cox: Patagón recording:

“The opening Elegy for the difficult and sometimes intractable medium of solo violin does no violence to the nature of the instrument, and indeed begins with a sense of rapture which charms the ear before leading on to a more emotional climax… Columba aspexit is likewise an elegy…It takes as its foundation a chant by Hildegard of Bingen, developing it initially in a densely argued polyphonic style and featuring a series of canonic elaborations of the material. Around two-thirds of the way through the four linked movements the music becomes more explicitly attuned to the medium of the string quartet, with pizzicato passages even leading to Bartókian ‘snap’ plucking of the strings, but again the idiom is ideally suited to the instruments and is handled gratefully and gracefully by the Alexander players. … Patagón is described by the composer as a series of portraits of aspects of the Patagonian landscape, and the movements bear descriptive titles such as Southern right whales and Magellanic penguins. The composer in her note draws attention to her use of various ‘avant garde’ string techniques, but these do not force themselves upon the listener as elements in their own right, seeming instead to be purely illustrative. … the very closeness of the recording enables one to appreciate the precise and well-tuned playing of the Alexander Quartet even during the deliberately scratchy opening to the fourth movement The sleeping cold earth (track 9). There is quite a sense of fun, even, in the final The southern cross and the revolving sky (track 10), with ‘avant garde’ techniques employed to picaresque effect. …” —Paul Corfield Godfrey, MusicWeb International

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