Complete String Quartets
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Definitive performances of this distinguished American composer's complete string quartets.

Leon Kirchner's life has been liberally peppered with moments of recognition for his powerful and innovative music. Both the first and second quartets heard on this recording received the Critics Circle Prize; the third received the Pulitzer. While still an undergraduate, he was accepted into Arnold Schoenberg's graduate composition seminar at UCLA. He has received many honors and prizes, including membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was a professor at Harvard University for 25 years. This recording includes his fourth string quartet, written in 2007 when Kirchner was 87, for the Orion String Quartet, who are able champions of his music.
Leon Kirchner, composer
String Quartet No. 1
Orion String Quartet

Leon Kirchner, composer
String Quartet No. 2
Orion String Quartet

Leon Kirchner, composer
String Quartet No. 3
Orion String Quartet

Leon Kirchner, composer
String Quartet No. 4
Orion String Quartet

"...impeccable craft, a real sense of drama, an ability to move the music forward and at the same time create islands of repose. .. Enthusiastically endorsed. You owe it to yourself to hear some Kirchner..." (Scott Morrison)

"The Orion Quartet plays each score as if inhabiting its unique expressive world....It would be difficult to imagine Kirchner's string quartet music treated with more loving attention." (Gramophone)

"Kirchner's four quartets...are among the pinnacles of his art and the sequence of all four among the most significant quartet cycles of the past century. (American Record Guide)
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