Flinders Quartet Releases Australian Chamber Music On ABC Classics


The Offering is a new album release from the Flinders Quartet and pianist Benjamin Martin.

Flinders Quartet is one of Australia’s most poplar and highly respected chamber music ensembles. One of its aims is to further the development of Australian chamber music by commissioning and premiering new works by Australian composers: all four pieces on this disc were commissioned or premiered by the quartet in pursuit of this goal.

Elena Kats-Chernin’s The Offering is the composer’s first piece for piano quintet. A kaleidoscopic work, it draws on elements and forms from different musical eras including the Baroque and Ragtime. Richard Mills’ quartet Glimpses from My Book of Dada is full of idiosyncratic observations of life from neighbours dancing in the rain to wombats, from composer Dulcie Holland’s aversion to fifths, to a surreal dream of Graham Koehne’s mother; it is a piece vivid in imagination and vivid in its descriptions.

Peter Sculthorpe’s eighteenth and final string quartet is arguably his most poignant, an evocative depiction of the Australian landscape that he loved so well and its suffering under a changing climate. Considered one of the greatest modern chamber works, it is by turns, dramatic, heroic and filled with longing. Like Sculthorpe’s piece, Tom Henry’s Scenes From a Poet’s Life pushes the possibilities of the string quartet form, as the poet of the title struggles to attain the paradise tantalisingly glimpsed in the process of writing.

The tracks:

Elena Kats-Chernin: The Offering /I. Allegro con spirito/  II. Andante/  III. Vivace scherzo/  IV. Tranquillo/  V. Allegro energetico

Richard Mills: String Quartet No. 4: Glimpses from My Book of Dada/  I. The Circumspect Ibis/  II. The Rise of the Airheads in Public Life/ III. Rêve circulaire du wombat/  IV. Rare Umbrella Dance of Molly Hourigan/  V. Scheming and Latté Drinking/ . VI. The Octopus Quadrille/  VII. Dulcie Holland Says No/  VIII. Anti Tango from Berlin as Premonition of Invasion by Russian Herbalists/  IX. Prayer for Nonna Thora

Peter Sculthorpe: String Quartet No. 18/  I. Prelude/  II. A Land Singing/  III. A Dying Land/  IV. A Lost Land/  V. Postlude

Tom Henry: Scenes from a Poet’s Life

The musicians: Flinders Quartet – Shane Chen violin/Nicholas Waters violin/ Helen Ireland viola/ Zoe Knighton cello with
Benjamin Martin piano [tks 1-5]

Album available 12 October 2018 | Digital album | ABC 0028948176311

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