Performed by the Dominion Quartet
Alfred Hill was New Zealand’s first professional composer. Working in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, his musical language is based in the European Romantic tradition. Hill’s musical language is appealing to many. This is the first album in what will become a complete set of his string quartets, released by the Dominion String Quartet, on the Naxos label. The musical language of Alfred Hill’s string quartets is reminiscent of Dvorak and Tchaikovsky with easily remembered melodies crafted within the harmonic texture of the romantic era, rhythmic vitality in the outer movements, and consistently beautiful slow movements of much charm. The blend of antipodean nationalism with the traditional forms and musical language of late nineteenth-century Europe bring a uniqueness and freshness that has appeal on a first hearing, yet reveals a wealth of underlying ideas on further acquaintance.