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Austin Jaquith: The One And The Many

Jaquith / Curlette
Release Date: 01/14/2014 
Label:  Enharmonic Records   Catalog #: 27   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Austin Jaquith
Performer:  Bruce CurletteSæumm _orsteinsdóttirKyle WilliamsJing Zeng,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

JAQUITH Ballad for Clarinet. 1 String Sextet. 2,3,6,7,9,10 String Quartet No. 2. 4,5,8,11 Quintet for Brass 12 1 Bruce Curlette (cl); 2 Jing Zeng, 3 Amy Britton, 4 Chavdar Parashkevov, Read more 5 Shih-Ting Huang, (vn); 6 Kevin Boden, 7 Kyle Williams, 8 Lorento Golofeev (va); 9 Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, 10 Elizabeth Alonso-Halifax, 11 Shino Hayaashi (vc); 12 Mirari Brass Qnt ENHARMONIC 13027 (63:19)

Austin Jacquith is a young American composer whose first instrument is the alto saxophone. He views the audience as an essential part of the composing process. Since he feels that writing for an empty concert hall is pointless and does not validate the composer’s creativity, he wants his music to be easily grasped as well as meaningful. Calling this Enharmonic CD The One and the Many , his opening piece is a ballad for solo clarinet composed in 2011 and played by Bruce Curlette who, like Jaquith, teaches at Cedarville University in Ohio. The first movement opens with sultry tones that could denote a garden on a summer afternoon. A bee draws nectar from a flower and birds flee from the human presence. Curlette’s fiorature are precise and his low trill delectable. The mood changes in the second movement, which reminds me of a cheerful parade of children and their toys. The Finale contains an even more joyous theme in which he shows his complete mastery of the clarinet’s many possibilities. Jaquith’s 2003 String Sextet bears a surface similarity to Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht because of its use of a post-romantic melodic style based on harmonic triads and dissonant color tones, but a second look shows new material throughout the piece crowned by an energetic Finale that provides relief from the previous somber movements. In any case, it is a charming work.

Jaquith’s Second String Quartet is a propulsive piece that keeps the listener’s interest from beginning to end. The performers play this interesting 21st-century Quartet with a great deal of passion. Like the Sextet, this Quartet has lush harmonies and easily accessible melodic content, but there are catchy rhythms, too, especially in the energetic last movement. I particularly enjoyed the playing of the lead violinist, who always maintains a lush tone no matter how fast or dramatic the music. The Quintet for Brass is a completely different kind of composition that shows Jaquith’s versatility. He wrote it for the Mirari Quintet to take on their 2010 tour. They play it here as well, and I think it must be a favorite piece, because it contains bright, happy, melodic music. Only at the end of track 11 does the listener realize that the composer is quoting the traditional spiritual Were You There . Jaquith knows his wind instruments very well and brings out the best from each of the Quintet’s instruments. Because the music is new, there are no comparable recordings. The sound on this disc is clean and clear. Both the strings and the wind instruments are well balanced, and the ambience gives the listener the feeling of being in an intimate concert hall.

FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

Ballad for Clarinet by Austin Jaquith
Performer:  Bruce Curlette (Clarinet)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 05/31/2012 
Venue:  Recital Hall at Cedarville University, C 
Length: 12 Minutes 26 Secs. 
String Sextet for 2 violins, 2 violas & 2 cellos by Austin Jaquith
Performer:  Sæumm _orsteinsdóttir (Cello), Kyle Williams (Viola), Jing Zeng (Violin),
Elizabeth Alonso-Hallifax (Cello), Amy Britton (Violin), Kevin Boden (Viola)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 03/01/2003 
Venue:  Live  Cleveland, OH 
Length: 20 Minutes 11 Secs. 
String Quartet No. 2 by Austin Jaquith
Performer:  Lorento Golofeev (Viola), Chavdar Parashkevov (Violin), Shih-Ting Huang (Violin),
Shino Hayashi (Cello)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 09/27/2004 
Venue:  Live  University of Houston, Houston, TX 
Length: 14 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Quintet for Brass, for 2 flugelhorns, 2 trumpets, horn, trombone & tuba by Austin Jaquith
Performer:  Eddie Ludema (Trumpet), Sarah Paradis (Trombone), Jessie Thoman (Horn),
Alex Noppe (Trumpet), Eddie Ludema (Flugelhorn), Alex Noppe (Flugelhorn),
Glen Dimick (Tuba)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 06/17/2011 
Venue:  Farm Fresh Studios, Bloomington, IN 
Length: 15 Minutes 48 Secs. 

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