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Light / Ethel

Release Date: 09/12/2006 
Label:  Cantaloupe   Catalog #: 21037   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Mary RowellCornelius DufalloDorothy LawsonLennie Tristano,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Not unlike a boy named Sue, there is a string quartet named Ethel. This is its second solo CD. Cornelius Dufallo and Mary Rowell play violins, Ralph Farris is the violist, Dorothy Lawson is the cellist. Compositions by Dufallo, Rowell, and Lawson are recorded here as well, and Farris is credited with arranging a work by Timo Alakotila while Rowell has arranged Requiem by Lennie Tristano. "New music" can be nerve-racking, but that's not the case with the stuff that Ethel has compiled. The group seems intent on being entertaining while presenting new sounds, and there's nothing haphazard in anything they do. This is one of the most thoroughly congenial collections I've heard this year. The
Read more energetic performances--rhythmically sharp, brave, and altogether involving--match the remarkable creativity of the composers.

Just to describe a few examples: Marcelo Zavros' first piece, Arrival, begins in a whirlwind reminiscent of Adams' Shaker Loops, but it soon travels in a different direction; Mary Rowell's Sambula and Also Sprach Einstein are deeply rooted in hillbilly, hoedown music (the latter features both Randy Crafton on whistle and the grey parrot who lives at the Knoxville Zoo and was winner of the Pet Star show on Animal Planet); Dufallo's Lighthouse has South American leanings; Pamela Z's Ethel Dreams of Temporal Disturbances finds a combination of a warm woman's voice speaking quotes from public TV ("This was made possible by the generosity of viewers like you") and an attempt to sing "There's no business like show business" that keeps getting interrupted with a thud and other odd, electronic occurrences; Zavros' Sickness and Death is a touching threnody that has Arvo Pärt leanings; and Mary Ellen Childs' After Dust is a sultry tango.

You'll encounter jazz, blues, and whopping good virtuosity. These Juilliard-trained musicians are unique: no matter what they play, you get the feeling no one else would play it. If all of this sounds complicated or too strange, it isn't: it's a fun 54 minutes of music-making that's entertaining, bright, and new. Ethel may wind up being a category unto itself. Try it. [11/21/2006]
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sambula by Mary Rowell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Lighthouse by Cornelius Dufallo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Chai by Dorothy Lawson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Requiem by Lennie Tristano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Pelimanni's Revenge by Timo Alakotila
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Ethel Dreams of Temporal Disturbances by Pamela Z
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Nepomuk's Dances: Sickness and Death by Marcelo Zarvos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
After Dust by Mary Ellen Childs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Quartet for Strings no 2 "Four Thoughts on Marvin Gaye" by Don Byron
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Period: 21st Century 
Written: 2006 
Also Sprach Einstein by Mary Rowell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet
Nepomuk's Dances: Arrival by Marcelo Zarvos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ETHEL String Quartet

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