Kevin Raftery: Chamber Music


Catalogue No: MSV 28569
EAN/UPC: 809730856921
Artists: , ,
Release Date: May 2017
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 66:13

Kevin Raftery is an American composer who has been working in the UK since 1989, and also plays bassoon, sings contemporary vocal music, and works as a Project Manager. His work is thoroughly modern, without classical limitations, but is also in turn lyrical, tuneful, dramatic and serene, giving appeal to more than just fans of modernist music. In fact this is top-class post-modern work. While the Quartet and Quintet are formal works, the Pleasantries suite is full of wit, based on ‘figure of speech’ expressions.

The three ensembles here are all celebrated in their own right: The Heath Quartet, quartet in residence at Middlebury College, Vermont, near to Metier HQ, have appeared at the BBC Proms, at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center and have made several acclaimed recordings. The Berkeley Ensemble and Animare Ensemble were both formed to explore modern chamber music as well as more traditional material: both have flexible configurations and employ some of the UK’s top soloists and orchestral principals.

Track Listing

    Kevin Raftery:

  1. String Quartet No. 1 (15:41)
  2. First Companion – I. To Canterbury and Back (5:06)
  3. First Companion – II. Melodies (5:23)
  4. First Companion – III. Vivace (5:31)
  5. Pleasantries – I. A little bird told me (1:27)
  6. Pleasantries – II. You can say that again (1:19)
  7. Pleasantries – III. A bit windy (1:48)
  8. Pleasantries – IV. I was gobsmacked (1:17)
  9. Pleasantries – V. I’m so sorry (2:06)
  10. Pleasantries – VI. Go on, then (1:38)
  11. Pleasantries – VII. Those were the days (1:28)
  12. Pleasantries – VIII. How pathetic (2:53)
  13. Pleasantries – IX. Reading between the lines (1:50)
  14. Friedhof Quintet – I. Andante non tranquillo (5:26)
  15. Friedhof Quintet – II. Cantabile (6:27)
  16. Friedhof Quintet – III. Vivace (6:46)


Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

Meticulous and committed performances of four works, all highly advanced harmonically and expressive. There is beauty and character to these works. Raftery shows himself as a gifted exponent of high modernist chamber art. I come away from this program impressed and rewarded. Anyone with a liking for the intimacy of the chamber form and the sophistication of the classic modern expansiveness should readily take to this music as I have. Very recommended.

” —Grego Edwards

This intriguing omnibus of [Raftery’s] chamber music presents a musical personality that is, at turns, somber, puckish, and alert to the voices of musical history… this is the music of a rather quirky, but intelligent and compelling artist. The performances are uniformly excellent.

” —Peter Burwasser

This is a most worthwhile disc of fine, well-made chamber music by a composer largely unknown to the wider world. Nicely clear, warm sound as usual from this label.

” —Guy Rickards
MusicWeb International

I cannot fault this CD. The playing is excellent in every detail: the sound quality is ideal. It is so refreshing to hear ‘modern’ music that is not in hock to Einaudi… Kevin Raftery may be a serialist: he might use expanded tonality or atonal theories; his music is always interesting, complex, touching, thought-provoking and ultimately satisfying.

” —John France