Thursday, April 2, 2009

BEDA Day 2: Richard Mills and String Quartets

I recently discovered Australian composer Richard Mills (b.1949), by means of Naxos Music Library (also at He has written a number of concerti, is working on his third string quartet, and is perhaps best known for a series of successful operas, none of which I've yet had the pleasure of hearing.

Visit Mills' personal website here.

A brief excerpt from his Cello Concerto can be found here (small button on the right hand side).

You can also hear the tiniest fraction of a sample of his orchestral writing at the Australian Music Centre (bottom of the page).

After only one listening of his String Quartet No. 1, I can only make cursory comments (lucky readers), but in general the work is quite engaging. It is tuneful without banality; it is rhythmically energetic without unruliness. It will likely be added to the list of models I will draw upon while I write my own first string quartet this summer, slated for completion in the middle of August.

On this list of influences, Mills will of course be joined by the likes of - in rough order of preference - Bartok, Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, Prokofiev, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, and Carter.

...That is, if I can listen to all of them before May! Any others I must add? Comment below.

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