Drawing from the contemporary music scene of the Americas, the spirited Del Sol String Quartet has produced an intense, thought-provoking collection of performances that includes three world premieres. In this refreshing compilation, Del Sol explores order and chaos, weaving textures of sound into a musical tapestry of modern life.
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992): Argentina, arr. Jeremy Cohen
Libertango: Astor Piazzolla outraged many tango traditionalists as he pushed the boundaries of the form. This tango's drive displays an unrelenting sensuality that mirrors the heart of the composer.
2. Andante from String Quartet (1931):
Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953): USA
Andante: Along with husband Charles Seeger (father of folk musician Pete), Ruth Crawford Seeger was also a central figure in the American folk music revival in the 1930's and 1940's. In this andante, she uses a well defined tonal and rhythmic system to create a wave of raw emotion, expanding to a searing climax.
3. Corrente from quartet no. 2 "Nostalgia"(2001):
Ronald Bruce Smith (1961): Canada
Corrente: The notes of this piece run at a furious pace, interrupted briefly by a few distant siren's calls from impressionist composer Maurice Ravel.
"My piece is concerned with society's relationship to nostalgia. It is something that is used by government, advertising and religion, among others, to manipulate large portions of societies. We seem to prefer the image of passion to passion itself. The rhythmic structure is built upon a gradual truncating meter that works together with a gradual expansion of register. " -Ron Smith
4. Cuarteto No. 1 (1990):
Gabriela Ortiz (1964): Mexico
Cuarteto #1: Dreamy, yet macabre, Ortiz's piece has qualities of a primal myth, taking the listener through a journey of mystery and ritual.
5. Fantasia from quartet no. 2 (1987):
John Harbison (1938): USA
Fantasia: One of the United States' most prominent modern classical composers, John Harbison's music is often distinguished by its exceptional resourcefulness and expressive range. In the Fantasia, the long theme is introduced by each instrument in succession, gradually unfolding into a rich, contrapuntal texture.
6. Musica de Feria (1932):
Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940): Mexico
Musica de Feria: Revueltas died young and in poverty, yet lived a colorful life as a violinist, conductor, and composer. Musica de Feria is a romp through a crowded Mexican fair, complete with Mariachi bands, children, vendors, animals, and a languid siesta.
7. Tear (2001):
Keeril Makan (1972): USA
Tear: This piece was written for Del Sol and performed completely acoustically.
"Tear was a spontaneous musical reaction to the events of 9/11/01. In the piece's aggressive insistence, I was attempting to voice the anguish brought forth by those stunning acts of destruction. Simultaneously I wanted to express my frustration with the continuation of the cycle of violence prompted by the response of the U.S. government." -Keeril Makan
8. Audacious Tango from "Tangoimpressions" (2001):
Adriana Isabel Figueroa Mañas (1966-): Argentina
Del Sol performed the North American premiere of this fiery tango from Adriana Figueroa. More romantic than the intense Libertango, this piece is sultry and flirtatious.
"My tangos combine traditional romantic elements with a contemporary vision of style "-Adriana Figueroa
9. Song of Palestine from String Quartet Set (1980):
Lou Harrison (1917-2003): USA
Song of Palestine: Lou Harrison has created a set of variations based on the twelfth century crusader song by Walter von der Vogelweide, representing the evolution of a theme of conflict to a song of peace.
10. String Quartet (1965):
Earle Brown (1926-2002): USA
With the freedom of an Alexander Calder mobile and the texture of a Pollock painting, Earle Brown's quartet floats through a collage of sound episodes.
11. Libero e rapsodico from quartet no. 2 (1958):
Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983): Argentina
Libero e rapsodico: Trista es el día sin sol
Trista es la noche sin luna
Sad is the day without the sun
Sad is the night without the moon
The melody to this Argentinean folk song is quoted by the viola near the end of the piece. It shapes the mood of this rhapsody, which passes through different stages of mourning.
12. Crack (2002):
Crack: A spontaneous improvisational episode, hatched during a droll moment in the recording studio.