Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

From Manchester, England we have the Quatuor Danel playing five very modernist string quartets on New Sounds from Manchester (Metier 28546). The composers are all living exponents of uncompromising new music, musical personages rather unknown, at least to me, but all showing a fine sense of craftsmanship and dramatic flair.

The program consists of Camden Reeves (b. 1974) with “Fireworks Physonect Siphonophore (String Quartet No. 1)” and “Dactylozooid Complex (String Quartet No. 2),” Richard Whalley (b. 1974) with his “Interlocking Melodies,” John Casken (b. 1949) and his “Choses en moi,” and finally Philip Grange (b. 1956) and “Ghosts of Great Violence.” Quatour Danel handles it all with an excellent feel for contemporary modernism and fine musicianship.

None of the works are mundane or routine. They all are of a uniformly advanced nature and mesh together for a consistently rewarding listen.

Quatuor Danel have been together since 1991; in 2005 they became the quartet-in-residency at the University of Manchester, where they remain. Their playing is exemplary on this disk and the Manchester composers represented are in every way worthy of the quartet’s talented way.

Recommended.

—Grego Edwards