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Michael G. Cunningham (b.1937): An Arc of Quartets / New England String Quartet; Millennium Quartet; Pedroia String Quartet; Moravian Quartet; Sirius Quartet

Audio Samples

  1. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 1: I. Easter Variations, Op. 10 $0.99 on iTunes
  2. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 1: II. Song & Fantasia, Op. 14 $0.99 on iTunes
  3. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 2, Op. 22 "3 Satires": I. Brusque $0.99 on iTunes
  4. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 2, Op. 22 "3 Satires": II. Candidly $0.99 on iTunes
  5. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 2, Op. 22 "3 Satires": III. Crisp & Energetic $0.99 on iTunes
  6. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 3, Op. 69 "Partitions": I. Quarter Note = Circa 70 $0.99 on iTunes
  7. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 3, Op. 69 "Partitions": II. — $0.99 on iTunes
  8. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 3, Op. 69 "Partitions": III. — $0.99 on iTunes
  9. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 3, Op. 69 "Partitions": IV. — $0.99 on iTunes
  10. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 4, Op. 117 "Interlacings": I. Beginning $0.99 on iTunes
  11. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 4, Op. 117 "Interlacings": II. Scherzo $0.99 on iTunes
  12. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 4, Op. 117 "Interlacings": III. Adagio $0.99 on iTunes
  13. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 4, Op. 117 "Interlacings": IV. Finale $0.99 on iTunes
  14. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 5, Op. 137 "Aggregates": I. Zestful $0.99 on iTunes
  15. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 5, Op. 137 "Aggregates": II. Languid $0.99 on iTunes
  16. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 5, Op. 137 "Aggregates": III. Spirited $0.99 on iTunes
  17. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 6, Op. 215 "Digital Isorhythm": I. Caleando/Slargando $0.99 on iTunes
  18. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 6, Op. 215 "Digital Isorhythm": II. Canso $0.99 on iTunes
  19. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 6, Op. 215 "Digital Isorhythm": III. Energico $0.99 on iTunes
  20. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 7, Op. 241 "Back Home": I. Con carita $0.99 on iTunes
  21. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 7, Op. 241 "Back Home": II. Andante $0.99 on iTunes
  22. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 7, Op. 241 "Back Home": III. Vivace $0.99 on iTunes
  23. Michael G. Cunningham — String Quartet No. 7, Op. 241 "Back Home": IV. Con slancio $0.99 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 1, Opp. 10 & 14
>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("Three Satires"), Op. 22
>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 3 ("Partitions"), Op. 69
>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 4 ("Interlacings"), Op. 117
>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 5
>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 6
>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 7 ("Back Home"), Op. 241
Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

As the title of this album suggests, An Arc of Quartets gives listeners unique access to a continuum of composer Michael G. Cunningham's intricate and inviting string music. Five international string ensembles present the album's seven compositions, including Sirius Quartet, the Moravian Quartet, the Millennium Quartet, the Pedroia Quartet and New England String Quartet. These groups' performances of Cunningham's work present the hallmarks of his style of string writing, which is defined by a focus on rhythm, melody, and texture, as well as his gentle yet often dissonant, harmonic language. Although these quartets contain a wide range of sounds and styles, Cunningham maintains a reliable attraction to tense, lyrical melodies, and energetic rhythms. One specific string effect that pervades these works is the glissando, or slide sound, that is produced easily on string instruments. In the middle of String Quartet No. 3, we can hear glissandi spangle an all-pizzicato section, while in the "Zestful" movement of String Quartet No. 5, these sliding gestures are decorated with a trill. This piece's marriage of Cunningham's typical style with uncontrollable, rhythmic energy marks it as one of the more abstract works on the album. Cunningham's quartets utilize special sounds as accents to a core of intriguing textures, evocative melodies, and momentum-building rhythms, all of which remain compelling throughout the album. The composer's impressive skill at creating musical lines is displayed particularly strong in the "Song and Fantasia" movement of his String Quartet No. 1, a piece defined by both soulful lyricism and intense contrapuntal motion.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: ERM Media Studios in Portsmouth, VA (01/29/2016/01/30/2016); MixOne Studios in Boston MA (01/29/2016/01/30/2016); Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic (01/29/2016/01/30/2016); Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA (01/29/2016/01/30/2016); ERM Media Studios in Portsmouth, VA (07/22/2016); MixOne Studios in Boston MA (07/22/2016); Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic (07/22/2016); Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA (07/22/2016); ERM Media Studios in Portsmouth, VA (08/2008/03/2009); MixOne Studios in Boston MA (08/2008/03/2009); Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic (08/2008/03/2009); Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA (08/2008/03/2009); ERM Media Studios in Portsmouth, VA (09/16/2016); MixOne Studios in Boston MA (09/16/2016); Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic (09/16/2016); Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA (09/16/2016); ERM Media Studios in Portsmouth, VA (10/27/2016); MixOne Studios in Boston MA (10/27/2016); Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic (10/27/2016); Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA (10/27/2016); ERM Media Studios in Portsmouth, VA (12/15/2011); MixOne Studios in Boston MA (12/15/2011); Reduta Hall in Olomouc, Czech Republic (12/15/2011); Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA (12/15/2011).



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Works Details

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 1, Opp. 10 & 14
  • Ensemble: New England String Quartet
  • Notes: MixOne Studios in Boston MA (01/29/2016/01/30/2016)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1959

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("Three Satires"), Op. 22
  • Ensemble: Millennium Quartet
  • Notes: MixOne Studios in Boston MA (01/29/2016/01/30/2016)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1967

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 3 ("Partitions"), Op. 69
  • Ensemble: Pedroia String Quartet
  • Running Time: 13 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1975

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 4 ("Interlacings"), Op. 117
  • Ensemble: Moravian Quartet
  • Running Time: 14 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 5
  • Ensemble: Sirius Quartet
  • Running Time: 12 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 6
  • Running Time: 9 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Cunningham, Michael G. : Quartet for Strings no 7 ("Back Home"), Op. 241
  • Running Time: 14 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005