Notes and Editorial Reviews
Brooklyn Rider, the American string quartet lauded for its electrifying performances and progressive vision, has joined Universal Music’s Mercury Classics label in an exclusive partnership. The first album – A Walking Fire, to be released April 30, 2013 – reflects the artistic independence and enterprising mix of classic quartet literature and new works that have earned the foursome of violinist Johnny Gandelsman, violinist Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords and cellist Eric Jacobsen such wide acclaim. A Walking Fire features a seminal string quartet by Béla Bartók alongside new works by contemporary Russian-American composer Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin and Brooklyn Rider’s own Colin Jacobsen.
Brooklyn Rider violist
Nicholas Cords says: “As itinerant musicians, we believe that getting underneath the surface of a musical tradition other than the one we inherit can be life-changing. All of the works on A Walking Fire are unique products of this kind of encounter, and we are thrilled to take our listeners along for the ride. The sense of embarking on a shared journey also seems a fitting way to celebrate an exciting new partnership with Mercury Classics.”
A Walking Fire resonates with this spirit of wide-eyed exploration and passionate creation. The album includes Brooklyn Rider’s signature interpretation of Bartók’s String Quartet No. 2, a work the Hungarian composer and musical explorer wrote during the years of World War I. Ranging from the jaunty and playful to the lyrical and funereal, Ljova’s Culai channels the sound and spirit of Nicolae Neacsu, nicknamed “Culai,” the late violinist-vocalist of the famed Gypsy ensemble Taraf de Haïdouks. Colin Jacobsen’s Three Miniatures for String Quartet is an irresistibly lyrical musical fantasy stemming from the composer’s appreciation of the close connection between music, poetry and the visual arts in Persian culture – an appreciation gleaned from Jacobsen’s friendship with Persian master musician Kayhan Kalhor.
According to Brookyn Rider, A Walking Fire “takes us on a guided expedition to three legendary musical centers. With stops in the Romanian village of Clejani, World War I-era Budapest and the fragrant gardens of Esfahan, this album celebrates the transformative nature of travel and its potential to act as a creative catalyst.”
Works on This Recording
Culai by Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin
Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 17 by Béla Bartók
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1915-1917; Budapest, Hungary
Miniatures (3) for String Quartet by Colin Jacobsen
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