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Boston Cello Quartet
Release Date: 02/04/2013 
Label:  Cd Baby   Catalog #: 5638070466  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartModest MussorgskyNikolai Rimsky-KorsakovClaude Debussy,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



PICTURES Boston Cello Quartet BOSTON CELLO QUARTET (no number) (60:48)


MUSSORGSKY (arr. Déjardin) Four Movements from Pictures at an Exhibition. MOZART (arr. Moore) Le nozze di Figaro: Overture. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Read more class="ARIAL12">(arr. King) Flight of the Bumble Bee. DEBUSSY (arr. Déjardin) Clair de Lune. ROSSINI (arr. Moore) Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Overture . BACH (arr. Déjardin) Sheep May Safely Graze. DVO?ÁK (arr. Déjardin) Humoresque. SCHUBERT (arr. Moore) Marche Militaire. ALBINONI (arr. Thomas-Mifune) Adagio. PIAZZOLLA (arr. Déjardin) La Muerte del Angel. HOSHII Waltz of the Black Ants. DÉJARDIN Wolfgang Variations


The Beatles are still influencing classical musicians in various ways. Perhaps their most iconic cover was the one used for their album Abbey Road, showing the “fab four” walking across the street in single file. That cover has spawned a number of others, the most memorable being an RCA disc of the Guarneri Quartet in a similar pose. Add to the list now the CD cover for the issue in hand, although the “fab four” members of the Boston Cello Quartet are each carrying cello cases, which fact changes the effect of the photo somewhat.


We are presented here with an entertaining recital of mostly transcriptions (there is a body of literature of original works for cello quartet, one of the most significant of which is the superb quartet by the Hungarian Emánuel Moór). The Boston Cello Quartet consists of four members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mihail Jojatu, Blaise Déjardin, Adam Esbensen, and Alexandre Lecarme, who come from Romania, France, and the U.S. Déjardin also provided a number of the arrangements included in the recital, along with one “original” work.


Opening the gala is Douglas Moore’s reworking of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro Overture. From the opening crisply articulated notes, I knew that I was in for a treat in this CD, no surprise to be sure, given the standard of the players in the BSO. Despite my strong mental associations of other instruments (horn, bassoon, etc.) carrying the lines in this work, the arrangement sounded really convincing to me.


Since Mussorgsky’s Pictures was originally written for piano, and is full of colorful effects and moods, it is no surprise that arrangers from all over have had a go at it. The present arrangement by Déjardin sets four movements, including the opening Promenade, “Tuilleries,” “Ballet of Chicks,” and the “Great Gate.” Believe it or not, however, this is not the first arrangement for cello ensemble that I’ve encountered; Paul Tortelier led an ensemble in an arrangement of three movements on the Calliope CD label. In the Boston Cello Quartet’s rendition, one doesn’t hear a lot of drama, but this is made up for in suave and polished playing, with absolutely stunning phrasing and technical precision. I hope that the group will record the entire piece someday. If it can be recorded by five bassoons (and it has been), why not four cellos?


Rimsky-Korsakov’s ubiquitous Flight of the Bumble Bee would seem almost de rigueur for a recital of this sort, and sure enough, here it is in a most effective arrangement by Boston-area cellist Terry King. Every note of the cascading runs of 16th notes is clearly heard. The suave character noted in the Mussorgsky above is also heard in the Debussy, Bach, and Albinoni selections, while the Rossini, Dvo?ák, Piazzolla, and Schubert pieces showcase the technical mastery of this group.


The final two selections on the recital are original works for cello quartet, but unfortunately the brief notes on the CD give no information about them. Googling Tetsuro Hoshii, I found out that he is a versatile composer, arranger, artist, and illustrator working in the Boston area, his musical endeavors carrying him into the worlds of classical music, jazz, and musicals. His Waltz of the Black Ants begins with a walking pizzicato line overlaid with syncopated figurations, both pizzicato and arco, in the other cellos. It is imbued throughout with elegant harmonies, with just a soupçon of jazz, making a most attractive musical soufflé.


Wolfgang Variations, by group member Blaise Déjardin, is a tongue-in-cheek compilation of themes from such disparate works as Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony, Mahler’s Sixth, the theme from Jaws, and numerous others, which the listener might want to have fun trying to guess (they’re identified in microscopic print on the back of the cover). The affair is more fun than substance, of course, and I’d guess that the quartet uses this one as an encore.


If you, dear listener, have not heard the beautiful combination of four cellos, do yourself a favor and investigate this release. The sound of the cello quartet is quite different from that of the traditional string quartet, and the recorded sound of the CD also is of audiophile quality. Urgently recommended, therefore, to anyone looking for a most enjoyable and rewarding hour of superb music-making.


FANFARE: David DeBoor Canfield
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Works on This Recording

1.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranged for cello quartet. 
2.
Pictures at an exhibition: Promenade by Modest Mussorgsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
3.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 9, Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks by Modest Mussorgsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
4.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 6, Tuileries by Modest Mussorgsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
5.
Pictures at an exhibition: no 16, The Great Gate of Kiev by Modest Mussorgsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
6.
Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
7.
Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
8.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
9.
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208 "Hunt Cantata": Schafe können sicher weiden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1713; Cöthen, Germany 
10.
Humoresques (8) for Piano, Op. 101/B 187: no 7 in G flat major by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Bohemia 
11.
Military Marches (3) for Piano 4 hands, D 733/Op. 51: no 1 in D major by Franz Schubert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1818; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Adagio for Organ and Strings in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Notes: Arranged for cello quartet. 
13.
La muerte del Angel by Astor Piazzolla
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Argentina 
14.
Waltz of the Black Ants by Tetsuro Hoshii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: 20th/21st Centuries 
Written: Japan 
15.
The Wolfgang Variations by Blaise Dejardin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Cello Quartet
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
Notes: The piece is a medley of famous themes by many composers. 

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