STRING QUARTETS – DAVID STOLL (RVRCD54)

£10.00

ANDREW KEELING

The Hilliard Ensemble

Bacchanalia, Alison Hayhurst, Steven Wray, Cathy Stevens, Susanna Pell and Jacob Heringman, Melanie Brandon and Daniel Smith

Description

STRING QUARTET NO.2

Part 1

1 The Way of the World
7′.15″
2 The Price of Medication 8’.02″
3 Inaction in Action 4’.38″

Part Two

4 Gratitude, Reverence and Praise
6’.33″
5 The Philosophical Garden – a Dance
7’.52″
6 Still like a Lake 4’.34″

STRING QUARTET NO.1

7 String Quartet No.1 27’.50″

NOTES

THESE QUARTETS ARE REFLECTIONS ON PHILOSOPHICAL OR SPIRITUAL SUBJECTS. QUARTET NO. 1 IS A MEDITATION ON THE MANDUKYA UPANISHAD, A PRIMARY TEXT OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF NON-DUALITY. QUARTET NO. 2 DESCRIBES THE MOVE FROM ACTIVE WORLDLY CONSIDERATIONS TO THE STILLNESS OF A DISCIPLINED MIND.

STRING QUARTET no.2

This QUARTET was commissioned privately in Canada, following the concert premiere in Toronto of STRING QUARTET no.1. It was written in 1999.

The music describes the “journey” from the material world to an appreciation of the reality which lies behind it. Because we are caught up in everyday concerns (1), it is necessary to open the mind to new ways of understanding. To this end, such exercises as meditation are helpful (2). With growing understanding, activity begins to be appreciated as merely a surface phenomenon (3). Grateful for such insight (4), the aspiring philosopher begins to live life in a detached way, treating the world as a drama or dance (5). When the mind is capable of remaining still during all the pushes and pulls of daily life, the philosopher is ready for enlightenment (6).

STRING QUARTET no.1

Commissioned privately in London, this QUARTET was written in 1994 and premiered by the Accordes Quartet in June, 1998. The music takes the form of a reflection on the Mandukya Upanishad, an extremely condensed scripture from the Vedic tradition. In twelve precise sentences, the entirety of what is within creation, and also what is beyond it, is laid out. Though beyond the capacity of mind to grasp, the text delivers to the listener an extraordinary message of unity: that the limitless is one with the world of manifestation.

In the text, a description is given of the four “states” of consciousness: awake, in dream, in undifferentiated deep sleep and transcendent. This last is reality, which cannot be described and, in a way, includes the others within itself as modifications.

The music of this piece is in one continuous movement. The three familiar states are heard in sequence, each of them appearing from and dissolving into the fourth, the transcendent. The QUARTET is intended as a meditation, that the listener may let go of any expectations and rest in each present moment of sound.

Download PDF Document:

Music and the Word

BIOGRAPHY

THESE QUARTETS ARE REFLECTIONS ON PHILOSOPHICAL OR SPIRITUAL SUBJECTS. QUARTET NO. 1 IS A MEDITATION ON THE MANDUKYA UPANISHAD, A PRIMARY TEXT OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF NON-DUALITY. QUARTET NO. 2 DESCRIBES THE MOVE FROM ACTIVE WORLDLY CONSIDERATIONS TO THE STILLNESS OF A DISCIPLINED MIND.

DAVID MICHAEL STOLL was born in London in December, 1948. He was educated at Oxford University, where he held the Hadow Scholarship in composition at Worcester College, and at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Stoll’s work is very varied. His concert music includes works for orchestra, choir and much chamber music. His Cantatas THE BOWL OF NOUS and WHO, IF NOT I? were both premiered in May ’98, the former in London and the latter in Sydney. The first STRING QUARTET was premiered in Toronto in June ’98. Recent commissions include, MOTET IN MEMORIAM for large choir and MIDWINTER SPRING, an orchestral work. David Stoll’s latest commission is for a CELLO CONCERTO for performance in London in 2000.

Stoll was one of the composers commissioned to write for the ‘UK Year of Opera and Musical Theatre, 1997’. His one-act opera about the Tudor composer, William Byrd – FALSE RELATIONS – was premiered in Lincolnshire in March ’97 by Wide Angle Voice Theatre, and is still in repertoire; there was a gala performance in Lincoln Cathedral in October ’97. Stoll co-wrote the music for TELLER OF TALES, the musical about Robert Louis Stevenson, which played both in Edinburgh and California in 1994. April 1998 saw the first production of the AandBC Theatre Company’s highly acclaimed IF I WERE LIFTED UP FROM EARTH for which Stoll wrote the music. His most recent theatre score was for a new production of PERICLES in Canterbury and London in the summer of 2000.

Although best known for his concert and theatre work, Stoll’s music for television and radio is also familiar around the world. He has written many songs for children and his signature tunes introduce several popular language teaching courses. He has also written and recorded much production music – orchestral, chamber and electronic – which is regularly used in television programmes around the world.

David Stoll, who is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, recently retired as co-Chairman of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. He was the founding Director of In Tune In Europe, an ongoing Seminar for European Composers and Songwriters, and he sits on the Board of several other music organisations. He has a keen interest in philosophy, which is often reflected in his music.

REVIEWS

THESE QUARTETS ARE REFLECTIONS ON PHILOSOPHICAL OR SPIRITUAL SUBJECTS. QUARTET NO. 1 IS A MEDITATION ON THE MANDUKYA UPANISHAD, A PRIMARY TEXT OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF NON-DUALITY. QUARTET NO. 2 DESCRIBES THE MOVE FROM ACTIVE WORLDLY CONSIDERATIONS TO THE STILLNESS OF A DISCIPLINED MIND.