The Kreutzer Quartet has forged an enviable reputation as one of the Europe’s most dynamic and innovative string quartets. The ‘Independent’ newspaper summed up their playing as ‘Passion, Grace and Steel…’.
They are the dedicatees of numerous works, and over many years forged creative partnerships with composers including Sir Michael Tippett, David Matthews, Michael Finnissy, Judith Weir, and Haflidi Hallgrimsson. They have a particularly strong relationship to a cross-section of leading American composers, having collaborated intensively with the great George Rochberg in the last few years of his life, as long as working closely with figures as Elliott Schwartz, and the prolific symphonist Gloria Coates.
As recording artists they have won critical acclaim for their discs on the Naxos, Metier, and Chandos labels. Their work in collaboration with art galleries has garnered much attention, and large audiences, particularly their annual residency at the Tate Gallery, St Ives. In 2008 they appeared at several Festivals including the Venice Biennale, and the Montpelier Festival. They are ‘Artists in association’ at York University. The performers on this CD are Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin), Gordon MacKay (violin), Bridget Carey (viola), and Neil Heyde (cello).
Of the works presented here there are no other recordings of the Casken and Saxton pieces, and at the recording of these, the composers were present, so it can be assumed they are precisely what the composers actually envisaged when writing the works.