‘Arguably the greatest string quartet before the public today’ (The Sunday Times), the Takács Quartet have recorded much of the great Classical and Romantic quartet repertoire during their fruitful career. Now they turn to three masterpieces of the twentieth century.
The three quartets span the composer’s life, the first written in America and the second written at the height of Britten’s fame after the premiere of Peter Grimes. It was written to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Purcell’s death—a composer who was a lifetime inspiration to Britten—and the last movement is cast in the form of a huge Chacony. The third Quartet was written at the end of Britten’s life and refers specifically to his last opera, Death in Venice. Peter Pears described this haunting work as being ‘of a profound beauty more touching than anything else, radiant, wise, new, mysterious—overwhelming’.