Elliott Miles McKinley’s String Quartet No. 5

Performed by the Martinu Quartet

There’s a real smorgasboard of musical styles in the string quartets of Elliott Miles McKinley, which is as fitting for someone who studied with William Bolcom as it is for the son of William Thomas McKinley who, according to the booklet notes accompanying this CD, was named after Elliott Carter and Miles Davis! The fifth quartet, an uninterrupted flow of music that is conceived in three large sections which further subdivide into twelve parts, is jam-packed with everything from ritornellos and a chorale to some ragtime, a tango, and a movement with the attractive title of “With a Touch of Swagger.” But as could be expected from a collusion of Carter and Miles, rhythms are invariable skewed into something extraordinary.

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