String quartets for guitars

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Philip Glass

String Quartets 2-5

Dublin Guitar Quartet

Orange Mountain Music

 

The translation of a string quartet into a guitar quartet might initially sound like a dubious prospect. After all, guitar, for all its many virtues, cannot match the sustain of bowed stringed instruments. That said, what the Dublin Guitar Quartet has done in recording transcriptions of Philip Glass’s string quartets is nothing short of extraordinary. They have recast the pieces to focus on their pulsating, rhythmic drive. But we don’t just get the impression of gestures with long notes shorn off. Indeed, in many places, even if we don’t have a violin taking a long-lined solo, the intensity the group brings to bear helps the listener to “feel legato” when we can’t entirely be hearing it. This is a recording of the quartets that reinvigorates them from a fresh vantage point; I’m very glad that the Dublin Quartet had the courage and commitment to make it happen.