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Speaking extravagantly

The String Quartets of David Stock -
appreciated by RON BIERMAN

'The group's sound is lush and full ...'

Speaking Extravagantly - String Quartets of David Stock. Cuarteto Latinoamericano © 2002 American Composers Forum

David Stock is a contemporary American composer who brings a variety of influences to his music. This recording of three of his string quartets reminds me of many composers. Shostakovich, with frequent touches of Berg, is probably closest to the right idea of style and mood. But each piece is more consistent and original than these comments might imply.

David Stock (born 1939)
David Stock (born 1939)

The program starts out of sequence with the Third Quartet, the liveliest and most consistently tonal of those recorded here. It makes for a better beginning than the gnarly second. Movement titles are accurate indications of mood. Obsessive features a repeated, alternately rising, then falling third and persistent, vigorous rhythmic patterns [listen -- track 1, 0:01-1:05]. A second subject is more lyrical, but the first is never far away and is used to conclude the movement. Reflective is predominately quiet and romantic. The second subject of the first movement reappears with good effect. Manic at times reminded me of the American Peter Schickele at his good natured, hoe-down best. Intense concludes the work in a deeply felt style reminiscent of Shostakovich in mood and in its economical use of melodic phrases, including material from the first movement.

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Copyright © 19 February 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


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