The Kreutzer Quartet has forged an enviable reputation as one of the Europe's most dynamic and innovative string quartets. They are the dedicatees of numerous works, and over many years have forged creative partnerships with composers including Sir Michael Tippett, David Matthews, Michael Finnissy, Judith Weir, and Haflidi Hallgrimsson. They have a particularly strong relationship to a cross-section of leading American composers, having collaborated intensively with George Rochberg in the last few years of his life, as long as working closely with figures as Elliott Schwartz, and the prolific symphonist Gloria Coates. As recording artists they have won critical acclaim for their discs on the Naxos, Metier, and Chandos labels. They are Artists in Association at Quartet at York University, and at Wiltons Music Hall. Their work in collaboration with art galleries has garnered much attention, and large audiences, particularly their annual residency at the Tate Gallery, St Ives.
Peter Sheppard Skærved is the dedicatee of well over 200 works for solo violin. Composers who have written for him include Jim Aitchison, Judith Bingham, Nigel Clarke, Gloria Coates, Jeremy Dale Roberts, Peter Dickinson, Michael Finnissy, Elena Firsova, David Gorton, Naji Hakim, Haflidi Hallgrimsson, Sadie Harrison, Hans Werner Henze, Kenneth Hesketh, John McCabe, David Matthews, Pavel Novak, George Rochberg, Poul Ruders, Peter Sculthorpe, Thomas Simaku, Howard Skempton, Dmitri Smirnov, Judith Weir and John Woolrich.
He is the only British violinist to have been invited to play on Paganini's violin il Cannone more than once, and regularly gives recitals at the Library of Congress, Washington, on Fritz Kreisler's violin. He presently plays on a 1698 Stradivari owned Joseph Joachim; Croquis was recorded on a 1699 Stradivari, the Crespi from the collection of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is Research Fellow.
Pianist Aaron Shorr has established an international career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator. As well as appearing regularly as concerto soloist at London's South Bank, he has toured extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician worldwide. Recent critically acclaimed appearances have been at the Venice Biennale, Instrumenta Festival Mexico, the Skopje Days of New Music, and the Istanbul Biennale, among others.
He has worked as duo partner with Peter Sheppard Skaerved for over a decade, and their recordings of Beethoven have won widespread critical acclaim. He has given numerous premières, including works by Hans Werner Henze, George Rochberg, Sadie Harrison, David Matthews, Paul Moravec, Elliott Schwartz, Jörg Widmann and Kenneth Hesketh, to list only the most recent.
Aaron Shorr was a professor and researcher at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1991-2006; in 2006 he was appointed Head of Keyboard at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
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Croquis ('Sketches') – a sequence of characteristic miniatures for string trio commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to be spaced between programmes across an evening’s broadcasting, recorded here by members of the Kreutzer Quartet – is coupled with Tristia, a powerful work for violin and piano performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved and Aaron Shorr.
"Dale Roberts' miniatures are brilliantly able to condense a familiar image" The Sunday Times
"The recent Tristia for violin and piano [is] the most nakedly lyrical work in Roberts' short work-list. Inspired by Russian poet Osip Mandelstam, it has the quality of a series of sepia photographs animated for a tantalisingly brief moment before the final silence." The Wire
This recordings has been supported by the RVW Trust and the Holst Foundation.
Jeremy Dale Roberts’s music is published by University of York Music Press.
Croquis was recorded at Holy Trinity Church, Weston, Hertfordshire, on 23-24 April 2008. Tristia was recorded at Coombehurst Studio, Kingston on 6 January, 2009.
Recording Engineer: JONATHAN HASKELL
Producer/Digital Editing: MICHAEL CSANYI-WILLS
Mastering: MICHAEL CSANYI-WILLS & DAVID LEFEBER
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS
Cover image: detail of a tapestry by LESLEY MILLAR, London Fields No.1. Reproduced by kind permission.
Cover design: FRANCOIS HALL
(P) 2009 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2009 NMC Recordings Ltd.