A major new string quartet by Richard Whalley, entitled Mantle Plume– inspired by the Icelandic geology – was premiered by the Quatuor Danel in the TivoliVredenburg concert hall in Utrecht on Saturday 19 January 2019 and performed again at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester on Friday 29 March. A video of the Manchester performance has now been edited and the performance may be viewed here:
Thea Derks, Dutch musicologist writes,
‘Mantle Plume by Richard Whalley got an impressive première by dedicatee Quatuor Danel in which one could almost physically experience the impact of volcanic eruptions, glowing lava streams, and the grinding and cracking of rocks.’
Saxophonist Dineke Nauta, of the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet also attended the premiere, commenting, ‘I was fascinated by the intensity of this piece. It is erratic and lyrical at the same time. Extremely exciting!’
This work is dedicated to another Composers Edition composer, Camden Reeves, who states,
‘I am deeply honoured to be the dedicatee of such an exciting and inspired quartet. I was completely knocked out by it at the UK premiere, in Manchester. Rarely do you hear a work that is able to achieve an organic interaction between its foreground material and background structure with such suppleness and seeming spontaneity. Its sound will live with me for a very long time.’
Quatuor Danel violist, Vlad Bogdanas observed that,
‘When I play Mantle Plume, the sceneries transfigured by Richard Whalley suggest my mind a geological fantasy that my body can literally feel through the physical engagement of the performance and the distinctive textures that the piece inspires us to create’.
The composer, Richard Whalley responds,
‘I’m so grateful to the Quatuor Danel. They understood the piece so immediately and instinctively, and played throughout with such conviction and understanding. Their range of colours is incredible and the experience of hearing them perform this work was, for me, overwhelming.’
Mantle Plume, as well as other works by Richard Whalley, as proudly published by Composers Edition and available for purchase through our website.