(2007) United States: Lifemusic2

Ying Quartet

... read moreThe Ying Quartet's "LifeMusic" project is a set of commissions for new works from top American composers, each "drawn from some aspect of life in America." The series offers a good way for a buyer to get acquainted with the styles of composers whose names may turn up in blogs or articles about...

01:02′:45″ 17 Songs

1
Ying Quartet
United States - Seven Viewpoints For String Quartet: United States I. A Beginning
1:30
2
Ying Quartet
United States - Seven Viewpoints For String Quartet: United States Ii. There And Back
2:45
3
Ying Quartet
United States - Seven Viewpoints For String Quartet: United States Iii. A Snowless Christmas
1:26
4
Ying Quartet
United States - Seven Viewpoints For String Quartet: United States Iv. Forty Chords For Mark On April First
0:52
5
Ying Quartet
United States - Seven Viewpoints For String Quartet: United States V. Nursery Rhyme
1:39
6
Ying Quartet
United States - Seven Viewpoints For String Quartet: United States Vi. Fargo
2:01
7
Ying Quartet
United States - Seven Viewpoints For String Quartet: United States Vii. An Ending
4:56
8
Ying Quartet
Eagle At Sunrise
6:18
9
Ying Quartet
At The Kansas City Chinese New Year Concert: At The Kansas City Chinese New Year Concert I. The Talking Fiddle
4:21
10
Ying Quartet
At The Kansas City Chinese New Year Concert: At The Kansas City Chinese New Year Concert Ii. Making The Hand-Pulled Noodles
4:37
11
Ying Quartet
At The Kansas City Chinese New Year Concert: At The Kansas City Chinese New Year Concert Iii. Blue Dragon Sword Dance
4:55
12
Ying Quartet
Southern Harmony: Southern Harmony I. Soft Summers
5:53
13
Ying Quartet
Southern Harmony: Southern Harmony Ii. Reel Time
3:46
14
Ying Quartet
Southern Harmony: Southern Harmony Iii. Gentle Waltz
5:51
15
Ying Quartet
Three Rags: Three Rags I. Poltergeist
4:51
16
Ying Quartet
Three Rags: Three Rags Ii. Graceful Ghost
3:36
17
Ying Quartet
Three Rags: Three Rags Iii. Incineratorag
3:28
Released 08 May 2007, ℗ Quartz Music Ltd

Review

The Ying Quartet's "LifeMusic" project is a set of commissions for new works from top American composers, each "drawn from some aspect of life in America." The series offers a good way for a buyer to get acquainted with the styles of composers whose names may turn up in blogs or articles about awards, but whom most listeners will have heard only occasionally. Here, two works by well-established composers frame three younger figures, all women, who have made frequent inroads into concert programs in the new millennium. Ned Rorem, 77 years old when United States -- Seven Viewpoints for String Quartet was composed in 2000, could afford to disregard the terms of the commission; he takes the words "united states" generically rather than introducing elements evoking America specifically, and produces a series of deliciously sharp, contrasting miniatures, each built on a single abstract idea. Augusta Read Thomas' Eagle at Sunrise, dated just after September 11, 2001, is a rich string tapestry, with a soaring cello symbolizing the bird. Perhaps the most enjoyable work of the five is Chen Yi's At the Kansas City New Year's Concert (2002), where specific references to Chinese music are subsumed within a festive, Ivesian rush forward. The middle section depicts, of all things, the craft of making noodles by hand -- you'd never guess that without reading the notes, but the same is true of some of the nineteenth century's more elaborate programs. Jennifer Higdon, Brooklyn-born and Southern-raised, contributes Southern Harmony, which has nothing to do with the hymnbook of that name but carries forward Copland's evocations of Southern life in Higdon's denser, more chromatic and more impressionistic style. The program is rounded out by William Bolcom's Three Rags for String Quartet, composed in the late '60s and not part of any commission, but a perfect choice for the finale in that it ties together many aspects of the previous group in terms of tonality. The all-sibling Ying Quartet here solidifies its reputation as champions of new and accessible American concert music.