Australian String Quartet presents Ives Westlake Debussy
Angel Place, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia
4th September 2019
Ives, String Quartet no 1 From the Salvation Army Nigel Westlake, String Quartet no 3* (World Premiere) Debussy, String Quartet op 10 The music of Charles Ives is made of pictures from a long-lost America, depicted with such vivid immediacy that they seem absolutely alive. Through the magic lantern of his musical imagery, this New England world appears like a nostalgic dream – white-painted churches in autumn forests filled with congregations joyously chanting hymns and spirituals. Not dissimilar to the inquisition that Ives undertakes, Claude Debussy’s quest to liberate sensuality led to a revolution in French musical identity. His string quartet replaces rigid thematic structures with a free flow of colours, motifs and gestures in the search for melodic rapture, realising his decadent dictum, ‘Pleasure is the Law.’ The vibrant colour and energy for which Nigel Westlake is renowned make his eagerly-awaited new work a splendid companion to Debussy and Ives.