Click on the link here for Audio Player: Roy Harris – String Quartet No. 3
Taking a break this week from our perusal of French Radio transcriptions for another dose of Americana, this time by way of Roy Harris, a composer whose work and recognition have been pretty much limited down to one symphony of late – but a composer whose work needs serious revisiting and rediscovery.
This weekend it’s a performance, recorded for Columbia Masterworks on June 13, 1940 and June 6, 1941 by the venerable Roth String Quartet of Roy Harris’ String Quartet No. 3, from 1937.
The Roth Quartet and, to be fair, a few others, were one of the backbone groups working in the U.S. , devoting themselves to unfamiliar and new works. There was a time in the 1930s where, if the Roth’s were going to play your work, you had arrived. So indelible were they in the cause of presenting new music they have hardly been surpassed over the past few decades.
So The Roth String Quartet and Roy Harris were pretty much synonymous for a long time. Harris championed the cause of new Music and The Roths championed the cause of Roy Harris. Both have fallen sadly into neglect of late.
Maybe that can turn around.