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Barber & Ives - String Quartets

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-2360 SACD
Release date2021-08-06
Orig. sample rate96000Hz
Total time74:15

Previous releases from the New York-based Escher Quartet include an acclaimed set of Mendelsohn’s six string quartets as well as an album with works by Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Borodin. For their latest offering the members have looked closer to home, however, choosing to combine the quartets by Samuel Barber and Charles Ives. The disc opens with Barber’s String Quartet in B minor, containing the music for which the composer remains best-known: the second movement which he two years later expanded into Adagio for Strings. Recognizing its potential already while composing it, Barber described the piece as ‘a knock-out’ – which made it all the more difficult to come up with a third movement worthy to follow it. In the end he decided to make the quartet a two-movement work, but the Eschers have here included the lively third movement that the composer discarded, offering the opportunity to hear the work as it was once planned.

Barber is followed by the two full-scale quartets by Charles Ives, as well as a brief Scherzo. Like many other compositions by Ives, his First Quartet makes extensive use of revival and gospel hymns, quoting them in all four movements in a highly accessible tonal idiom. Far more challenging, the Second Quartet is a portrayal of ‘four men / who converse, discuss, argue ... fight, shake hands, shut up / then walk up the mountainside to view the firmament’ – a programme which invites a liberal use of dissonance, but also – towards the end – a particularly fulfilling resolution.
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 17.79
Extra material for download
  Composer: Barber, Samuel
  String Quartet in B minor, Op.11 18:28
01 Molto allegro e appassionato 08:01 $ 1.94 USD
02 Molto adagio - attacca - 08:09 $ 1.96 USD
03 Molto allegro (come prima) - Presto 02:18 $ 0.56 USD
  String Quartet: original final movement
04 original final movement 05:28 $ 1.38 USD
  Composer: Ives, Charles
  String Quartet No. 1 (From the Salvation Army) 21:23
05 I. Chorale 04:36 $ 1.10 USD
06 II. Prelude 06:15 $ 1.51 USD
07 III. Offertory 05:18 $ 1.27 USD
08 IV. Postlude 05:14 $ 1.32 USD
09 Scherzo: 'Holding Your Own' 01:23 $ 0.39 USD
  String Quartet No. 2 25:58
10 I. Conversations and Discussions 09:47 $ 2.36 USD
11 II. Arguments 05:01 $ 1.20 USD
12 III. The Call of the Mountains 11:10 $ 2.79 USD
  Album total 74:15
String quartetEscher String Quartet
ComposerBarber, Samuel
Ives, Charles

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