The second volume in Somm Recordings' complete survey of Charles Villiers Stanford's eight String Quartets sees the Dante Quartet return with first recordings of the Third, Fourth and Seventh Quartets. Stanford came late to the string quartet form, composing his first two in 1891. His Third Quartet followed five years later. Dedicated to "my friends the Joachim Quartet," it moves from stern agitation and lyrical poise to introspective intensity before ending with a ferocious, dance-like finale. As Stanford authority Jeremy Dibble notes: "The idiom of the string quartet was always a serious intellectual challenge for Stanford and this example is no exception in it's demonstration of structural subtlety, thematic imagination and brilliant ensemble writing." Completed a decade later, the Fourth Quartet is a work of fierce technical challenges - "brimfull with invention" as Dibble pithily observes - it's playful Scherzo a dazzling example of Stanford's love of continuing variation, the melancholic slow movement and virtuoso finale drawing deep from the Dublin-born composer's richly emotional Irish heritage. The Seventh Quartet is one of Stanford's most varied and vital exercises in the form. Viola and cello are pitched against each other in the stern, contrapuntal dialogue of it's first movement with a tour de force Scherzo at it's heart and a finale that dances delightfully in irregular phrase lengths to end in an energetic flourish. Issued in late 2016, Volume One in the series was admired as "an excellent album in every respect" (MusicWeb International), applauded as "most enterprising and thoroughly likeable" (Classical Ear) and acclaimed "a really worthwhile release" (Gramophone).