Album: Casken/Saxton/Weir, Northern Lights – Kreutzer Quartet, (Metier)

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The Independent Culture

The Kreutzer Quartet's triptych of British string quartets from the 1990s can be enjoyed as a single journey: cold, colder, coldest.

John Casken's "String Quartet No 2" applies Debussian sensuality to a barren landscape, while Judith Weir's "String Quartet" looks back to the nagging disquiet of Tippett and Britten in melancholic Purcellian figures. Robert Saxton's "Songs, Dances and Ellipses" prods at dissonance like a tongue at a sore tooth. The performance is strong, though Peter Sheppard Skaerved's solo sounds effortful.

Pick of the album: Weir's artful dissection of British melancholy, 'Con Moto'

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