Adrian Jack String Quartets (DXL 1116)



The Arditti Quartet enjoys a world-wide reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th century music. Several hundred string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. These works have left a permanent mark on 20th century repertoire and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music history.  The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpreting modern music and therefore attempts to work with every composer it plays.
Ever since Haydn established the medium of the string quartet, it has inspired composers to confide to it some of their most intimate and serious thoughts and feelings. The existence of players like the Arditti Quartet ensures that its repertoire continues to grow. These are two reasons “one a challenge, the other a possibility – why I have written six quartets to date,” says Adrian Jack.

Adrian Jack was born on 16 March, 1943, and began composing, with a short set of variations for piano inspired by Beethoven, when he was thirteen. He studied piano, composition and organ at the Royal College of Music and went on to study composition and electronic music at the State High School of Music in Warsaw. On returning to London he ventured into music journalist and lecturing at the Royal College of Music. Adrian was also director of an influential series called MusICA at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, which show-cased present-day music. Apart from six string quartets, Adrian Jack has written music for various combinations of instruments, three piano trios and many pieces for piano, piano duo and organ. A good deal of his music has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3. For more information on Adrian Jack visit

Track List:

String Quartet No.3 (1996)
1) Floating
2) Fast
3-4) Slow – Allegro: Very vigorous and with abandon

String Quartet No.4 (1999)
5) Vivace: Secretive and mysterious
6) At ease: Quite lightly, drifting
7) Brisk

8) 08.02.01 (2000) Molto moderato

String Quartet No.5 (2000)
9) Very smooth and steady
10) Fleeting
11) Flowing and vigorous – Poco meno mosso

String Quartet No.6 (Serenade) (2002)
12) Aubade: Andante
13) Berceuse: Cool
14) Scherzo: Vivace: Vigorous!
15) Retrospect: Very slow: calm & hypnotic
16) Prospect: Swiftly flowing

This delightful disc presents the chamber works of Adrian Jack performed by the award winning Arditti String Quartet.

“This disc offers a substantial introduction to Adrian Jack’s more recent music. The Ardittis add a sense of affection to their unrivalled flair for the new and unfamiliar, and the recordings are excellent in atmosphere and balance.”  Gramophone Magazine, Awards issue 2006

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