×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Steven Mackey: Speak Like the People, Write Like the King
     

Steven Mackey: Speak Like the People, Write Like the King

by Brentano String Quartet
 
Speak Like the People, Write Like the King is a disc of string quartet music by New Jersey-based composer Steven Mackey featuring both the Borromeo and Brentano string quartets; in the case of "Gaggle and Flock" (2001), the two quartets play together. Mackey composed this work as a wedding present for Misha Amory and

Overview

Speak Like the People, Write Like the King is a disc of string quartet music by New Jersey-based composer Steven Mackey featuring both the Borromeo and Brentano string quartets; in the case of "Gaggle and Flock" (2001), the two quartets play together. Mackey composed this work as a wedding present for Misha Amory and Hsin-Yun Huang, who, at the time this quartet was written, were the violists in the two quartets. Mackey states, "the idea of featuring the violas and creating a strong musical bond between them continued to intrigue me." The piece has an appropriately sunny and celebratory feel to it and glows with the warmth of friendship. The rhythmic aspects of it drives the whole -- much as in the case of Stravinsky's "Concertino" -- but one never gets the sense that this is a wanna-be string orchestral piece; "Gaggle and Flock" sounds like a string quartet with a few extra notes here and there. As appealing and ready for prime time as "Gaggle and Flock" is, it is not the main event on Speak Like the People, Write Like the King. That distinction belongs to "Ars Moriendi" (2000), performed here by the Borromeo String Quartet. It is a distant cousin to Schoenberg's "String Trio, Op. 45," in that it represents the struggle of the dying, but is far less aggrieved than the Schoenberg; it makes a difference when you are the one on the table. In this case, Mackey portrays the passing of his own father in nine reasonably short movements, but these are skillfully wound together in a structure that suggests a single movement. Whereas Schoenberg distrusted programmatic forms, Mackey is content to allow his observations and impressions of his father's final moments unfold in a natural and organic fashion. While "Ars Moriendi" ultimately makes for a moving listening experience and is a very well-crafted creation, its effect tends to sneak up on the hearer and it might not leave its mark right away; patience is a virtue. In addition, it isn't bad a idea to take a little break before moving onto the "'Lude" (2002), performed by Brentano String Quartet. A transformation of materials drawn from J.S. Bach, it seems a little less successful than the other two only in that the relatively austere style of the piece seems a little out of sympathy with its more romantically inclined discmates. Mackey is decidedly non-academic in his approach and this is a very fresh disc of chamber music, featuring sincere dedication on the part of all players, not to mention the composer. Now if we could only do something about the title of the CD; certainly, the intention is humorous, and that is all fine and good, but come on!

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2008
Label:
Bridge
UPC:
0090404925726
catalogNumber:
9257

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Ars Moriendi, tableaux (9) on the art of dying well for string quartet
  2. 'Lude, for string quartet
  3. Gaggle and Flock, for string quartet

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews