Ian Wilson: Winter's Edge

Ian Wilson Winter's Edge
Winter's Edge

Ian Wilson: Winter's Edge

Year of composition:
String quartet no. 1
Scored for:
for string quartet
Ian Wilson
Instrumentation details:
1st violin
2nd violin
Commissioned by the Vanbrugh Quartett with funds of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
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Winter's Edge

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World première

Omagh (IE)
Vanbrugh Quartet

Press reviews

“If anyone had any doubt about the contribution of Music Network’s touring programmes to Irish musical life, the Badke Quartet’s 11-stop tour has some of the answers. Music Network has always encouraged performers to include Irish works in their programmes. And Ian Wilson, currently the most prolific Irish composer of string quartets, has benefitted greatly from this policy.

His First String Quartet, Winter’s Edge, commissioned for, as well as premiered, toured and recorded by the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, has been taken up by a number of quartets’ Network tours. By the time the Badkes have finished, Winter’s Edge will have achieved some 40 performances in Ireland since its 1993 premiere.

The quartet, inspired by “the idea of Redemption as exemplified in the life of St Paul” is gesturally strong, and imaginatively resourceful in its handling of string quartet colours and textures. The Badkes delivered it with focused energy and lyricism, with Eniko Magyar’s long viola solo near the start being particularly memorable. And yet, every time I hear the piece, I stumble at the extended evocation of part of the Danse sacrale from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The borrowing does not explain itself, and it’s just too large to ignore.”

(The Irish Times, 26th March 2009. Badke Quartet, Dublin Castle)

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