- String Quartet in F major
- Arcadiana, for string quartet, Op. 12
- String Quartet No. 23 in F major ("Prussian 3"), K. 590
The Calder Quartet is based out of the Colburn School in Los Angeles, and its self-produced debut disc was recorded in the school's Zipper Hall. The group is a mainstay of the Carlsbad Music Festival and they delight in contrasting traditional classical quartet literature with very current, contemporary works. So here, Ravel's famous "String Quartet in F" and Mozart's last string quartet in F major take pride of place along with Thomas Adès' early quartet suite "Arcadiana" (1994). Despite that these works span three historic eras with nothing but big, century-long intervals in between, there is a certain commonality of approach the Calder has located among these works: luxuriance and rhythmic variety tempered with a striving for clarity of expression. The recording is way above average for a self-produced chamber recording; it's alive and bristles with energy, yet intimate, with just enough air around the instruments to help the ambience of the recording to relax and, to an extent, transmit an informal feeling. However, the Calder Quartet is not made up of slackers; they're working hard throughout the whole project, and the disc is communicative and serves the purpose well of conveying some of the flavor of what the Calder Quartet is like to experience in a live context. Clearly, the Calder Quartet is one of the most exciting young quartets to emerge during the first decade of the twenty first century, and this disc provides early access to an extremely exciting young chamber ensemble.