Beginning before any of our quartet members has awakened, there is the Series of Nightmares After a (the previous) Day of Gigs including traditional gig fare such as Pachelbel's Canon (which in the minor key sounds like the opening of Mahler #1), Handel's Hornpipe from the Water Music, Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, and Massenet's Meditation from Thais, as well as remnants from the previous day's bar mitzvah and subsequent party, all of which conspire at the end to crash a cocktail party.
The conscious day starts with playing one funeral and ends with playing another. In between are two in-school demonstrations with one four-movement piece that introduces each performer with his/her own movement and cadenza (of course to show off the instruments as well) and another one which acquaints the school audience with the different eras of western concert music from the Renaissance to the 20th Century. And since the Wistaria String Quartet and I are based in Hampshire County, Mass., there's even a piece about driving across the county from gig to gig. The album ends with the quartet enjoying a well-deserved and Well-Tempered Beer at the local pub.
Many thanks to the Wistaria String Quartet for doing an excellent job with the music! They were really great to work with. They give a lot of premiere performances of new music, and over the next months they'll be playing some of this music on their concerts (the majority of which was written for them.)
While writing this album, violist and friend Bernie Zaslav (1926-2016) found he was terminally ill. Bernie had a long and distinguished career in all areas of our Classical Music World, beginning in the Cleveland Orchestra under Szell, and ranging from playing the premieres of well-known Broadway shows to a long collaboration with his wife, the excellent pianist Naomi Zaslav, enriching the repertoire available for viola and piano. But Bernie spent most of his career playing string quartets. He was a member of (in alphabetical order) the Carnegie Quartet, the Composers Quartet, the Fine Arts String Quartet, the Kohon String Quartet, the Stanford String Quartet, and the Vermeer String Quartet. I was able to let him know that I would be dedicating this album of quartets to him, the idea of which he liked. With his interest in quartets and great sense of humor, I hope he would have enjoyed the resulting album as well.
As I hope you might! Here are a few links:Tweet
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