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Recently re-issued by Claddagh Records on vinyl, String quartet in C minor is Frederick May’s masterpiece. In 1936 he composed his String Quartet in C Minor, described in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "one of the most individual statements from an Irish composer in the first half of the 20th century". May composed the quartet as his hearing was beginning to deteriorate and he later described it as "an appeal for release"
When Irish composer Freddie May died in 1985 he left a sum of money for preparation of his String Quartet in C minor in a format for performance.
It has taken 30 years for his wish to be fulfilled.
The Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at DkIT recently completed the project in association with Claddagh Records, a move that will pave the way for renewed interest in music scholarship and potential future collaborations.
Initially recorded by the Aeolian String Quartet and released by Claddagh Records in 1973 the work is very important in the canon of Irish music as it represents a significant development of Irish modernism. The project involved two postgraduate researchers at Dundalk who worked on a typesetting of the score.
Head of Department Dr Adèle Commins celebrated the potential for future collaborations with Claddagh Records and the value of these experiences for students at DkIT. Lauren Farquharson, whose research in musicology focuses on repertoire for the piano accordion, said it was 'a wonderful experience delving into the intricate notation of Friedrich May's String Quartet'. Christina Lynn, whose current research focuses on Country Music in Ireland but who had previously undertaken research on Irish born composer Charles Villiers Stanford noted that she was 'grateful for the opportunity to bring this fascinating music score to life'. Projects such as this provide important opportunities for students and researchers to link with industry and demonstrates the value of their research.
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