- Mythic Birds Waltz, for string quartet
- Mas Lugares (su Madrigali di Monteverdi), for string quartet
- Dark Queen Mantra, for electic guitar & string quartet
The late-life creativity of Terry Riley is cause for celebration in troubled times, and this release by California's Del Sol Quartet makes a fine place to start exploring it. As with Philip Glass and Steve Reich, Riley's musical language has evolved since his days as the West Coast pioneer of minimalism, but a basic personality has remained constant. "Dark Queen Mantra," performed here with Riley's son, Gyan Riley, on guitar, is flavored by Spanish idioms, but is in no way a neoclassical work. If you had to compare it to anything, it would compare to Reich's Jewish-themed works, but really it is sui generis. You might sample the melodic "Goya with Wings" second movement, which was inspired by paintings of Francisco Goya. "Mas Lugares (su madrigali di Monteverdi)" by Italian Stefano Scodanibbio, a friend of Riley's, makes an unusually good pairing with Riley: it stands in the same relationship to Monteverdi as Riley does to his Spanish models. The finale, "The Wheel & Mythic Birds Waltz" (which is not a waltz at all), is an older work originally performed by the Kronos Quartet; the entire program shows how the San Francisco scene that group helped nurture has remained vital and continued to develop. Recommended, and not only for admirers of Riley's work.