Cedar is a String Quartet CD single, written in 1994 by Marc Sinclair, recorded at Langford Lower School, and released in 1995 by Germaine Systems. Performed by the Kaznowski String Quartet.
This musical work only lasts a shade under eight minutes, but has drawn critical acclaim and has been used in numerous Film and TV projects.
This article contains lots of information about the project, as well as links to download the sheet music and mp3s.
I wrote the String Quartet, "CEDAR" in late 1994 while living in Biggleswade in Bedfordshire. The first movement took several weeks to complete, with the help of Lorna Chapman who supplied a key section when I was totally stuck.
John Verity, who lived nearby, thought that I should talk to Jan Kaznowski for help, He was at that time, leader of the Bedford Symphonia and worked for the local school music service. Later I learned that Jan had arranged the strings for the Benny Hill number one, "Ernie", which impressed me more :-)
I went round to Jan's home in Bedford with my score and was delighted when Jan and his dinner guests produced instruments and gave an impromptu first performance. I knew then, that I wanted to complete the project. I called a few days later and arranged to record the piece. Jan had suggested a hall with a wooden floor for the best acoustic, and I found a local school hall that was perfect. The recording took place on a cold Saturday in March, which meant we had to turn the noisy central heating on in between takes, so that we didn't freeze! Jan, Caroline, John and David were great, John Verity recorded the session from a stereo pair of mics directly to DAT (how about that for DDD!)
Back in 1995 CDs were not as simple as they are today to produce and I had to take the DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) to be mastered and encoded. I found a company called SOUNDS GOOD in Theale and went down, with the tapes and sat in a studio with Henry Smithson, who guided me through the whole process. After about an hour, I emerged with another tape, the Exabyte Master! With the Audio side of the project complete, I began on the artwork.
Cedar had struck me as the name of the project after discovering that these magnificent trees look like any ordinary conifer when young, and only began to spread and display their unique form later in their lives. As I was nearing forty, and beginning a highly creative phase, this struck a chord with me. I had already found a couple of Cedars I wanted to use on the CD cover, but the one at Tadlow church, near Cambridge, was perfect. if you look carefully at the picture, you can see two of my boys, Billy and Elliot. I combined the outline of the larger cedar, with a 'self portrait' drawing for the j-card. All the artwork had to be supplied as separations on film which was produced by a company called A3M on Hayling Island. I took everything down to Precision Records and Tapes who manufactured the CD. The CD has been warmly received worldwide and has been used in Film and TV projects. Chamber Review Magazine said "This CD Single holds three short string quartet pieces written with emotion and romance - Its sincerity will remind you why you love the form."
The Kaznowski String Quartet
Jan Kaznowski was born in Norfolk, in a musical family. His father was a Polish refugee and a cellist. Jan started the violin at the age of eleven with Alexander Kirk, a peripatetic teacher, who had been a founder member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Jan later studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Martin and Sidney Griller, and at the Warsaw Conservatoire with Zenon Bakowski and Tadeusz Gadzina. He studied anthropology at Queens College Cambridge, before becoming a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of English and Welsh National Operas.
Jan is now head of the string faculty for Bedfordshire Music teaching the violin and viola. He is also the director of the county chamber music course which involves a hundred or so children twice a year. He has lead the Bedford Sinfonia for twenty years, and also leads a quartet which has a repertoire that includes quartets by all of the major 19th and 20th century composers. He regularly appears as a soloist having performed concertos by Dvorak, Beethoven, Elgar, Mozart, Saint Saens, Mendelssohn and Bruch as well as Berlioz's 'Harold in Italy' and the Brahms double concerto
Jan plays a violin made for him by a contemporary Czech maker, Tomas Pilar, in 2002; which is a copy of Fritz Kreisler's Guarnerius 'del Gesu' violin made in 1733.
Caroline Waters was born in Jersey and studied at Chethams School of Music, Manchester, with Nannie Jamieson and Malcolm Layfield. She then went on to the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Richard Deakin and won a number of prizes for performance. Caroline gives solo recitals and plays regularly with the string quartet, and has also toured with a number of orchestras and ensembles throughout the UK and abroad.
John Shayler was Head of String Teaching for Bedfordshire County Music Service for 30 years, up until his early retirement in 2002. He plays and teaches violin and viola, and, as well as coaching on County orchestral and chamber music courses, is conductor of Bedfordshire Youth Opera.
John is also been a mentor for the Professional Development department of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. He is a long-standing member of the European String Teachers' Association and is a member of the ESTA Council, recently appointed as their International Liaison Officer. He has given master classes around Britain, and in Arezzo, Italy.
John has been teaching recently at the Alexander School of Music in Spain.
David Knight received his musical training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studied the 'cello with Stefan Popov.
He graduated in 1987 and was awarded the Libotton Memorial 'cello prize. He has played orchestral, operatic and chamber music ensembles, both professional and amateur, throughout the south of England and the Midlands whilst pursuing a teaching career, joining the Bedfordshire County Music Service full time in 1991
He teaches throughout the county and works with students on County Youth Orchestra and Chamber Music courses and is principal cellist of Bedford Sinfonia. As a conductor, David studied with Alan Hazeldene and Lawrence Leonard. He has supervised music for local operatic companies and is Music Director of the Milton Keynes Sinfonia.
Where to find a copy of Cedar
Cedar is available on Spotify and other streaming services
Cedar is available as a digital download to play on your mp3 player or burn to your own CD
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For the time being the sheet music is offered free of charge as .pdf downloads.
You can just click to launch your configured .pdf viewer or download the files.
|Cedar 1 Sheet Music in .pdf|
|Cedar 2 Sheet Music in .pdf|
|Cedar 3 Sheet Music in .pdf|
|Scan of the score used during recording (7.7 Mb)|