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Lawrence Dillon: Insects And Paper Airplanes

Dillon,Lawrence / Daedalus Quartet
Release Date: 10/12/2010 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9332   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lawrence Dillon
Performer:  Raman RamakrishnanKyu-Young KimJessica ThompsonBenjamin Hochman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Daedalus String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Lawrence Dillon was the youngest composer to earn a doctorate at Juilliard, and is now composer-in-residence at the University of Carolina School of the Arts. This disc is devoted to his chamber music.

The quartets are programmed in reverse order, beginning with the most recent, the Fourth. This is subtitled ‘The Infinite Sphere’, a reference to Blaise Pascal, and is cast in two movements or ‘Rounds’, with each Round subdivided. It opens ebulliently, though there are some folklorically inflected passages, an ingenious double canon, and
Read more hints of a hoe-down, before the ushering in of a three-voiced Round, and after that a fast-moving and amusing fugue. The second movement is a touch more concise, a tremolando Round followed by a so-called (in the notes) ‘rock bacchanal’ (well, ok...), which generates plenty of excitement.

The Third Quartet (‘Air’) was written in 2005, and lasts eleven minutes. After a cool opening an aria emerges over cello pizzicato. There are plenty of contrasts and an appropriately ‘airy’ freedom to the writing and textures. The mimicking of the human breath that follows is an interesting idea, though not wholly successful; it is however the sonorities and sounds evoked that are the most catchy thing about this work. The Second Quartet is subtitled ‘Flight’ – clearly he is interested in the elements, and in motion, and each of the six movements has fugal elements. It’s a big work, as big as the Fourth, but less immediately appealing possibly because, for all the quick, concentrated scherzo-like movements, the writing is not as memorable as it was later to become, and inclined to be a touch gestural. That said, the fifth fugal movement, Swings, is a total charmer.

What Happened (2005) sees the addition of pianist Benjamin Hochman in a work long on a terse sense of incipient excitement. It’s in sonata form, in three named movements, the central one of which sports some fine hymnal warmth.

The Fourth Quartet was commissioned and premiered by the Daedalus, and they are clearly wholly attuned to Dillon’s idiom. Good recording quality.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings no 4, "The Infinite Sphere" by Lawrence Dillon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
Quartet for Strings no 3, "Air" by Lawrence Dillon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
Quartet for Strings no 2, "Flight" by Lawrence Dillon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
What Happened by Lawrence Dillon
Performer:  Raman Ramakrishnan (Cello), Kyu-Young Kim (Violin), Jessica Thompson (Viola),
Benjamin Hochman (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 

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