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Berlin Counterpoint - Philip Glass: String Quartet No. 2; Christian Biegai: Quartet; Timothy Blinko: Cartographies; Steve Reich: Vermont/Berlin Counterpoint

Album Summary

>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("Company")
>Biegai, Christian : Quartet for saxophones
>Blinko, Timothy : Cartographies, for saxophone quartet
>Dubra, Rihards : Lux aeterna, for four saxophones
>Reich, Steve : Vermont Counterpoint
Ensemble Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

Inspired and fascinated by the currently fashionable concept in Berlin to play classical music in clubs, clair-obscur had the idea of recording a CD featuring contemporary music that would work in both environments: concert hall and club. Clair-obscur, a Renaissance painting technique in which opposing light and dark tones symbolize heavenly and earthly elements, is the visual equivalent of the sounds the quartet draw from their instruments. These world premiere recordings feature arrangements of works by Phillip Glass and Steve Reich, among others for saxophone quartet.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Three other works by composers not so familiar to me complete the program: Christian Biegai's Quartet, Timothy Blinko's Cartographies, and Rihards Dubra's Lux Aeterna. The Biegai work comes the closest to the minimalist purity of Glass and Reich; Blinko's work is more eclectic and, in its way, more accessible to a wide variety of musical tastes; and the Dubra is often serene and lyrical, allowing listeners who doubt the versatility of the saxophone an opportunity to change their minds. All in all, this is an exciting program and makes me optimistic about the future of classical musicians.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: RBB Studio 3, Berlin, Germany (10/13/2013-10/15/2013).



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Works Details

>Glass, Philip : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("Company")
  • Ensemble: Clair-Obscur Saxophone Quartet
  • Notes: RBB Studio 3, Berlin, Germany (10/13/2013-10/15/2013)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1983

>Biegai, Christian : Quartet for saxophones
  • Ensemble: Clair-Obscur Saxophone Quartet
  • Notes: RBB Studio 3, Berlin, Germany (10/13/2013-10/15/2013)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2013

>Blinko, Timothy : Cartographies, for saxophone quartet
  • Ensemble: Clair-Obscur Saxophone Quartet
  • Notes: RBB Studio 3, Berlin, Germany (10/13/2013-10/15/2013)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2013

>Dubra, Rihards : Lux aeterna, for four saxophones
  • Ensemble: Clair-Obscur Saxophone Quartet
  • Notes: RBB Studio 3, Berlin, Germany (10/13/2013-10/15/2013)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Reich, Steve : Vermont Counterpoint
  • Ensemble: Clair-Obscur Saxophone Quartet
  • Notes: RBB Studio 3, Berlin, Germany (10/13/2013-10/15/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1982