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Ascending slowly

Chamber music by Peter Maxwell Davies -
reviewed by

'... played with accomplished precision ...'

Peter Maxwell Davies: Chamber Works 1952 to 1987. Guy Cowley, Ian Pace, Kreutzer Quartet. © 2003 Metier Sound & Vision

To my ear it seems that Maxwell Davies has ascended slowly from a choleric disarray of musical thinking in the 1950s, when so much passionate adolescence asserted itself upon an unprepared artistic climate, to a belated mellow awareness of more placid lucidity in the 1980s.

This collection of chamber works spans just that period, and it is interesting to hear this succession of pieces chronologically, and appreciate the transformation from youth to maturity of a prolific and initially turbulent creative personality. It is of course such fierce challenges to the steady order of things that reveal fresh paths which would not be there for us to choose had there been servile obedience all the time.

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Copyright © 10 March 2004 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


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