It has been awhile since anyone recorded a new disc of Charles Ives' string quartets, and here the Blair String Quartet takes the plunge. He only wrote two numbered quartets that are like equivalents to night and day – the radiant, camp meeting-inspired First Quartet and the furiously punk-meets-transcendentalism Second. String Quartet No. 1, "From the Salvation Army," dates from 1898 and contains some of Ives' finest instrumental music couched in a reasonably stable and conventional style.
Admirers of the string quartets of Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel will be happy to discover the refined string quartets of Charles Koechlin, a contemporary of those composers who wrote in a rather similar vein. These attractive chamber works, like the rest of Koechlin's oeuvre, are quite obscure and had been unduly neglected until the Ardeo Quartet chose to record them for its debut CD on Ar Re-Se. The String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 51, is dated 1911-1913, though it appears to have gestated since 1902, and the String Quartet No. 2, Op. 57, was mostly composed between 1911 and 1916, though its sketches show some material going back to 1909; both works therefore partake of musical styles developed between fin de siècle Impressionism and the later innovations of Erik Satie and Les Six, but these works reveal a stronger emphasis on the former. The sweet, placid music that flows in both quartets is balanced by some jaunty, folk-like elements and occasional flirtations with changing time signatures and polytonality, but the calm atmosphere of these quartets is largely undisturbed by the encroachments of modernism.
This disc is a perfect demonstration of what treasures might be waiting to be rediscovered among Charles Koechlin's huge and still drastically undervalued output. Both the Piano Quintet and the Third String Quartet were begun during the first world war, and the bulk of work on them was completed soon after hostilities ended; the Quartet was first performed in 1924, but Koechlin continued to revise the Quintet for another 10 years before it received its premiere.
The RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, with the support of Garth Knox (viola) and Piers Lane (piano), continue their excellent survey of Stanford’s neglected chamber works with this recording of his String Quintet No 1 and Piano Quintet. Growing up in his native Dublin in the 1850s and ’60s, Stanford was no stranger to high-quality chamber music, even if visits to Ireland’s capital by pre-eminent executants of the genre were sporadic.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. Issued in 1966, Love-In was the follow-up to the amazing Dream Weaver, the debut of the Charles Lloyd Quartet. Love-In was recorded after the 1966 summer blowout and showed a temporary personnel change: Cecil McBee had left the group and was replaced by Ron McClure. McClure didn't possess the aggressiveness of McBee, but he more than compensated with his knowledge of the modal techniques used by Coltrane and Coleman in their bands, and possessed an even more intricate lyricism to make up for his more demure physicality. Of the seven selections here, four are by Lloyd, two by pianist Keith Jarrett, and one by Lennon/McCartney ("Here, There and Everywhere").
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. I love JOURNEY WITHIN. This recording will certainly be a love it or hate it thing for most people. My sister hates it, for instance. I love it!! This is Lloyd at his trippy-est, spacey-est, best. The title song takes me there, if you've ever been there, even when I'm straight!! I love the free improvization of it. For those historians of you out there, this allegedly is the first live recording ever released from the original Fillmore Auditorium. This and Lloyd's LOVE-IN album were both recorded there, allegedly, over several nights.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. The first studio date of the Charles Lloyd Quartet, with Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee, and Jack DeJohnette, was recorded and released just a few days before the band took both the European and American festival circuits by storm. First came Europe, which was just getting the disc as the band was tearing up its stages. While the live dates are now the stuff of legend, it's easy to overlook the recordings, but to do so would be a mistake. Dream Weaver is a fully realized project by a band – a real band – in which each member has a unique part of the whole to contribute.