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Jeremy Gill: Capriccio / Parker Quartet

Gill / Parker Quartet
Release Date: 06/30/2015 
Label:  Innova   Catalog #: 913  
Composer:  Jeremy Gill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parker String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
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Works on This Recording

Capriccio by Jeremy Gill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parker String Quartet

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Dreadfully Didactic - Bits and Pieces July 14, 2015 By Eric Bruskin (Langhorne, PA) See All My Reviews "I don't often write online reviews - writing worthwhile ones is very hard work for me. (You can easily find my others if you want to know what I'm about.) But every so often I come across such a crashing disappointment that I feel a need to warn people about it. I'm especially sad because I've heard good things about Gill's music (and the very worthy Peter Burwasser praises another Gill CD on this website). When I saw a CD with a single string quartet called 'Capriccio', I assumed it would be a significant work and an exciting one. I ordered it before looking at the other two CDs on ArkivMusic's website, or listening to any of the musical examples from those CDs. --NEW PARAGRAPH-- I should have been warned. Both of those CDs have more than 20 tracks with didactic titles. Only a few of the samples sound interesting. Very short pieces or movements can be fine, but generally not 20 or more in a row (unless you're Beethoven or The Beatles), and they should be pithily memorable in some way. --NEW PARAGRAPH-- The 'string quartet' on this hour-long CD has 27 movements. The composer intends it as a 'major concert work from which movements could be extracted that would work well in educational settings, displaying various musical textures and techniques and specifically string-related techniques'. unfortunately, that's exactly what this is - an educational sourcebook, not a piece of music. Eighteen 'technical movements' are just a minute or two long, with titles like 'Up, down', 'Tip, balance, frog, wood', 'Colors: normal, fingerboard, bridge', 'Pressure', 'Normal, mute, mute' and 'Pluck, snap'. Each of these movements sounds like its title, and is no more interesting than that. It's like listening to the musical examples in a book on string technique. --NEW PARAGRAPH-- A few of the movements quote or creatively paraphrase or allude to famous works of the past. They sound like the musical examples from a book on George Crumb or George Rochberg. They're well-written but brief, and don't whip up any of the excitement that Crumb or Rochberg's music does. --NEW PARAGRAPH-- Four other movements are about 5-6 minutes long each and are supposed to deal with love, dance, and other 'uses of music'. I'd hoped they would carry the deeper musical content of this compilation. Unfortunately, none of them build up any kind of a head of steam either - they're either more sound effects or more pseudo-quotation. If they were put together, without the surrounding musical granules, they wouldn't add up to an interesting or memorable 25 minute long string quartet. --NEW PARAGRAPH-- As a whole, there's very little fast music in this very long hour, and almost no rhythmic interest. There's also very little harmonic interest. The best moments sound like imitation Rochberg and imitation Crumb. (By way of contrast, Crumb's 'Black Angels', also for string quartet, speaks volumes in its 13 short movements. Each movement is stuffed with memorable music, and the whole traces a dramatic arc that leaves the whole AND its parts seared in your memory.) --NEW PARAGRAPH-- I might recommend this CD for young string players who've never heard a 20th century string quartet before and would like to sample one particular corner of the repertoire - the Bartok/Crumb/Rochberg axis, combining fascinating new sound-production techniques with vividly juxtaposed consonance and dissonance, providing a cubist and somewhat surreal musical experience. --NEW PARAGRAPH-- But I probably wouldn't. Sadly, most of this CD amounts to a rather dull demonstration disc for string students. The interesting bits are few and far-between. For the same hour plus another 30 minutes, I'd urge them to go straight to the top: Bartok's 4th Quartet, Crumb's 'Black Angels' and Rochberg's 3rd Quartet. There's not a dull moment in any of them, not even a speck of dross, and I promise you won't get any of them out of your head for the rest of your life." Report Abuse
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