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Britten & Bliss
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Britten & Bliss
Vermeer Quartet
Alex Klein, oboe
Cedille Records CDR 90000 093

The esteemed Vermeer Quartet joins forces with phenomenal oboist Alex Klein in three pillars of 20th-century British chamber music.

Benjamin Britten's spellbinding Phantasy Quartet (1932) for oboe, violin, viola, and cello was his first work to gain international recognition. This passionate piece displays elements that became hallmarks of his unique style.

Noteworthy for its sublime balance between oboe and strings, Arthur Bliss's gorgeous Quintet for Oboe and String Quartet (1927) deftly blends diverse styles and influences, concluding with the ingenious use of an Irish jig.

In a fitting finale, the Vermeer plays Britten's last major work, the String Quartet No. 3 (1975). The New York Times says of the valedictory piece, "Every episode. . . seems to emanate from some mystical realm."

The Vermeer Quartet
"As luminous and evocative as their namesake's paintings." (New York Times)

Alex Klein oboe
"One of the most amazing virtuosi on any instrument." (Seattle Times)
Click here to download the CD booklet.

Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

PROGRAM (62:08)

1 Britten: Phantasy Quartet, Op. 2 (1932) (13:16)

Bliss: Quintet for Oboe and String Quartet (1927) (22:35)
2 I. Assai sostenuto (8:09)
3 II. Andante con moto (8:40)
4 III. Vivace (5:38)

Britten: String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94 (1975) (25:58)
5 I. Duets: With moderate movement (5:28)
6 II. Ostinato: Very fast (3:19)
7 III. Solo: Very calm (4:40)
8 IV. Burlesque: Fast-con fuoco (2:14)
9 V. Recitative and Passacaglia (La Serenissima) (10:02)

Producer: James Ginsburg Engineer: Bill Maylone Design: Melanie Germond Cover Photo: Venice, Italy ca. 1950 by Ferruccio Leiss, Alinari Archives/CORBIS Recorded: October 3 (Bliss) & 4 (Britten Phantasy Quartet), 2005 and April 25-26, 2006 (Britten Quartet No. 3) at WFMT-Chicago Publishers: Britten: 1934 for the Phantasy Quartet and 1977 for the 3rd String Quartet. Faber Music c/o Boosey and Hawkes Bliss: 1927 Oxford University Press (NY)