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Four Four Three: Music of Terry Riley (b.1935) / Ragazze Quartet; Slagwerk Den Haag; Kapok

Album Summary

>Riley, Terry [Composer] : In C, for unspecified performers
>Riley, Terry [Composer] : Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector, for string quartet & synthesizer (originally for electric
Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Four Four Three is a program of music by minimalist American composer Terry Riley by the Ragazze Quartet. In C, also featuring Slagwerk Den Haag, has an enormous dynamic range. Long, melodic lines combine with short rhythmic motifs, producing an effect of both tranquil contemplation and pulsating explosiveness. Sunrise of the planetary dream collector was originally written for string quartet. But the Ragazze Quartet invited the jazz trio Kapok to make a new arrangement together. The mix of string quartet, horn, electric guitar and percussion, all expanded with electronic effects, offers a rich pallete of timbres. Ragazze Quartet bring forth the groovy rhythm and whimsical improvisatory character of this music in readings you have probably never heard before and will not hear anywhere else.

Four Four Three is a program of music by minimalist American composer Terry Riley by the Ragazze Quartet. In C, also featuring Slagwerk Den Haag, has an enormous dynamic range. Long, melodic lines combine with short rhythmic motifs, producing an effect of both tranquil contemplation and pulsating explosiveness. Sunrise of the planetary dream collector was originally written for string quartet. But the Ragazze Quartet invited the jazz trio Kapok to make a new arrangement together. The mix of string quartet, horn, electric guitar and percussion, all expanded with electronic effects, offers a rich pallete of timbres. Ragazze Quartet bring forth the groovy rhythm and whimsical improvisatory character of this music in readings you have probably never heard before and will not hear anywhere else.

The Guardian, 30th June 2016
This latest, Dutch version [of In C], clocks in at 40 minutes and combines a chipper-sounding string quartet with percussion ensemble, taking the music into a cheesy kind of party groove after a polite start.

Gramophone Magazine, August 2016
The pulse is discreetly shunted towards the background, utterly charming the senses with an often delicate mechanism of light pizzicato strings and mallet percussion...This performance deals up moments of sheer magic.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: MCO Studio 1, Hilversum, The Netherlands (06/2015).

Terry Riley's proto-minimalist work In C continues to fascinate musicians far beyond the U.S. more than 50 years after its composition (if that's the right word). Part of the reason is that the work, consisting of small fragments that must be played in order but may be deployed in many ways, allows, even demands creative contributions from the performers. This version from a pair of Dutch groups ranks high on the creativity scale and even higher on that of engineering. The work is performed by the Ragazze Quartet (all female, as the moniker suggests) with the Slagwerk Den Haag -- the Hague Percussion Ensemble. The group of players is considerably smaller than Riley's suggestion of perhaps 35, but the 40-minute duration of the performance is in his ballpark. The latter group begins the work at the low threshold of audibility (do not adjust your set), and the work builds to a crescendo that emphasizes the surface displacement (C is always there) from the titular C tonality. The players' control over this large-scale gesture is impressive, and all the more so is Channel Classics' much-vaunted engineering, executed at the MCO Studio 1 in Hilversum: it's impressive on ordinary stereo equipment, and those with superior sonic resources should be in for a real treat. For the shorter and rarer Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector (1980), written for the Kronos Quartet, the Ragazze ragazze are joined by a jazz trio for a unique realization of the work. Throw in a unique, groovy (well, at least grooved) CD cover, and you have an essential recording for Riley fans and for audiophiles, and a good introduction to Riley for anybody. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Riley, Terry [Composer] : In C, for unspecified performers
  • Ensemble: Ragazze Quartet
  • Running Time: 40 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1964

>Riley, Terry [Composer] : Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector, for string quartet & synthesizer (originally for electric
  • Ensemble: Kapok
  • Running Time: 16 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1973-1981