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Jefferson Friedman: Quartets

Album Summary

>Friedman, Jefferson : Quartet for Strings no 2
>Friedman, Jefferson : Matmos Remix no 1 (A Bruit Secret Mix)
>Friedman, Jefferson : Quartet for Strings no 3
>Friedman, Jefferson : Matmos Remix no 2 (Floor Plan Mix)
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

American composer Jefferson Friedman's music has been called "impossible to resist" by the New York Times. This disc includes passionate recordings of the composer's 2nd and 3rd quartets, works that demand to be considered modern masterpieces. The Baltimore-based experimental electronic duo Matmos contributes two mind-bending remixes to this album. Known for their pop-leaning music concrete soundscapes, Matmos frequently collaborates with such artists as Björk and So Percussion. The Chiara String Quartet has been lauded as "vastly talented, vastly resourceful, and vastly committed to the music of their time" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) and for its "highly virtuosic, edge-of-the-seat playing" (Boston Globe). The quartet serves as Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University.

"It's a rare thrill to come across new music as exciting, vivacious and downright gorgeous as these two string quartets by young New York composer Jefferson Friedman. It's not just the notes themselves, although those are stunners in their own right - a mix of bubbly post-minimalist rhythmic play and ripe tonal harmonies overlaid with a splendid melodic gift. But what's also striking is how resourcefully and provocatively Friedman handles the quartet medium, splicing together traditional techniques of chords and counterpoint with an explosive rhythmic edge that makes those techniques sound endlessly surprising. He is helped in this by the superb performances of the Chiara String Quartet, which plays with demonic energy, as well as a lush ensemble sound that brings out the hidden depths of Friedman's harmonic language." -SFGate

"Two works, stunningly played by the Chiara String Quartet, showcase the distinctive compositional voice of Jefferson Friedman. String Quartet No. 2 features a high-octane opening, with repeated slashing motives before the music lands on a deep, sober note. This pattern bookends the first movement and sets the tone for the emphatic and anxious qualities that pervade the work. A sparser middle movement sometimes recalls Arvo Pärt and builds to a cathartic summit before edging its way sadly down. At first listen, String Quartet No. 3 offers a similar juxtaposition of hard-driving brawn and aching reflection. But here these tendencies are even more intertwined, with a broad, captivating sound palette. The strings buzz harshly, circle obsessively, blurt out strange tones, sustain agonized whispers and offer wistful but dignified song." -NJ.com

"These compelling essays in high-energy eclecticism have become Jefferson Friedman’s signature works, thanks largely to the Chiara String Quartet’s passionate advocacy. Both quartets have an essentially neo-Romantic frame, but Mr. Friedman heads in unexpected directions, with hints of neo-medievalism, modernist effects and occasional rock influences. The disc includes remixes — imaginative reconfigurations, with added beats, drones and computer timbres — by the electronica band Matmos. " -The New York Times



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Works Details

>Friedman, Jefferson : Quartet for Strings no 2
  • Notes: Stude Hall, Alice Brown Pratt Hall, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, TX (10/15/2007-10/17/2007)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1998

>Friedman, Jefferson : Matmos Remix no 1 (A Bruit Secret Mix)
  • Ensemble: Matmos
  • Notes: Baltimore, Maryland; INA/GRM Studios at Radio France, Paris
  • Running Time: 5 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Friedman, Jefferson : Quartet for Strings no 3
  • Notes: Stude Hall, Alice Brown Pratt Hall, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, TX (10/15/2007-10/17/2007)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Friedman, Jefferson : Matmos Remix no 2 (Floor Plan Mix)
  • Ensemble: Matmos
  • Notes: Baltimore, Maryland; INA/GRM Studios at Radio France, Paris
  • Running Time: 10 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary