4 + Four

4 + Four

by Turtle Island String Quartet, Ying Quartet
     
 

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After two decades of pushing the boundaries of their genre to include folk, jazz, world music, and practically everything else, the members of the Turtle Island String Quartet tackle a new challenge on this collaboration with a more traditionally classical ensemble, the Ying Quartet. Blending

Overview

After two decades of pushing the boundaries of their genre to include folk, jazz, world music, and practically everything else, the members of the Turtle Island String Quartet tackle a new challenge on this collaboration with a more traditionally classical ensemble, the Ying Quartet. Blending together in a richly hued eight-piece formation, the quartets have forged a diverse repertoire combining new works with arrangements of familiar ones. The new music comes direct from the pens of the Turtle Island team. Quartet founder David Balakrishnan's Mara's Garden of False Delights is the disc's centerpiece, its three movements inspired by ideas from Hindu philosophy and its music combining the feel of Indian ragas (especially in the concluding "Snakes and Ladders") with jazzy syncopations and blue notes. Turtle Island's second violinist, Evan Price, humbly offers his Variations on an Unoriginal Theme; but if the theme's not original, the ingeniously disguised variations certainly are. Price also contributes a soulful arrangement of the jazz standard "Yearnin' " by Oliver Nelson to open the program, while cellist Mark Summer's treatment of the Beatles' "Because" rounds it out on a smoothly serene note. Even the most "classical" number here -- Darius Milhaud's landmark 1923 ballet score, La Création du Monde -- was composed under the sway of jazz. In fact, as one of the first (and most successful) attempts at this sort of fusion, it's a perfect choice for the Turtle Island/Ying collaboration, and Danny Seidenberg's octet arrangement is so cleverly executed that the raucous winds and brass of the original aren't even missed. Here's hoping that 4 + Four adds up to more than just this one disc, because it would be fascinating -- and great fun -- to hear what direction the Turtle Island and Ying players might take together in the future.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
The Turtle Island Quartet has always been a difficult group to pigeonhole into any prefabricated category, and this session is no exception to that rule. During this meeting with the classical Ying Quartet, they cover a wide variety of music. The opener is "Yearnin'," a marvelous blues by the late jazzman Oliver Nelson, with a series of playful solos. The cellists from each group share a duet of Mark Summer's "Julie-O," a piece that is occasionally suggestive of the works of Aaron Copland and showcases their abilities playing both pizzicato and arco. Violinist David Balakrishnan contributed the ambitious three-part suite "Mara's Garden of False Delights," an exotic piece that provides the most fertile meeting ground for the two quartets. Darius Milhaud's "La Création du Monde" demonstrates the French composer's interest in jazz, as the two groups join forces for a turbulent adaptation of this early 20th century ballet score. Even the Beatles' "Because" is successfully arranged by violinist Evan Price into a vehicle for their musical explorations, which recognize no boundaries. This music is even more stunning as heard on the Super Audio Surround Sound edition, though it is also available as a regular CD.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2005
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408063022
catalogNumber:
80630
Rank:
203462

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Turtle Island String Quartet   Primary Artist,Ensemble,String Quartet
Ying Quartet   Primary Artist
David Balakrishnan   Violin
Mark Summer   Cello
Evan Price   Violin
David Ying   Cello
Janet Ying   Violin
Phillip Ying   Viola
Timothy Ying   Violin
Ying Quartet   Ensemble,String Quartet
Mads Tolling   Viola
Timothy Ying   Violin
Phillip Ying   Viola
David Ying   Cello

Technical Credits

Darius Milhaud   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Oliver Nelson   Composer
David Balakrishnan   Composer
Jack Renner   Engineer
Danny Seidenberg   Arranger,Liner Notes
Mark Summer   Arranger,Composer
Anilda Carrasquillo   Art Direction
Evan Price   Arranger,Composer
Phillip Ying   Liner Notes
Thomas C. Moore   Producer,Liner Notes

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