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Classical: String Quartet Classical: Romantic Era Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Necessary Edges

by Dasch Quartet

The debut recording from the saxophone quartet, Dasch Quartet, features innovative interpretations of Romantic masterpieces originally written for string quartet.
Genre: Classical: String Quartet
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor "From My Life": I. Allegro vivo appassionato
8:34 $0.99
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2. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor "From My Life": II. Allegro moderato à la Polka
6:37 $0.99
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3. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor "From My Life": III. Largo sostenuto
9:49 $0.99
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4. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor "From My Life": IV. Vivace
7:12 $0.99
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5. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 "American": I. Allegro ma non troppo
7:42 $0.99
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6. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 "American": II. Lento
9:27 $0.99
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7. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 "American": III. Molto vivace
4:25 $0.99
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8. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 "American": IV. Finale vivace ma non troppo
5:55 $0.99
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9. Crisantemi
6:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
About Dasch Quartet:

Formed in 2013, Dasch Quartet has rapidly developed a reputation as one of the most exciting emerging chamber ensembles in the United States. Mentored by world-renowned saxophonist Taimur Sullivan, the quartet has seen numerous competition successes and has been praised by Classical Voice of North Carolina for its “breathtaking”, “effervescent” and “relentless” performances. Most notably, the ensemble took First Prize in both the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance National Quartet Competition and the 2014 ENKOR international chamber music competition.

The members of the quartet originate from all over the world, and met while they were graduate students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Ali Wright (soprano) grew up in England, Daniel Arocho (alto) in Georgia, Shawna Pennock (tenor) in Iowa, and Chemie Ching (baritone) in Hong Kong. This diversity helps them bring a unique approach and a multitude of ideas to their ensemble, which in turn enhances the quartet’s versatility.

Dasch is as proficient in the music of living composers as it is of those of the past. The quartet is passionate about the development of the saxophone quartet medium, and is responsible for the creation of several new quartet compositions. Dasch has also performed extensively at universities and recital venues and has been committed to community outreach since its inception.

Dasch is grateful for all of the supporters of this project. Without the financial contributions of our donors this recording could not have come to fruition!

Program Notes:

By the time he composed his String Quartet No. 1 (“From My Life”) in 1876, Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) had already gone deaf. He continued composing and hoped that his condition would improve, but it was in vain. While residing in the village of Jabkenice, he mused over his life and decided to write a confessional work that would be “more or less a private composition, and therefore deliberately written for four instruments conversing among themselves about the things that torture me, and no more.” In a letter of 12 April 1878 to confidante Josef Srb-Debrnov, Smetana gave an unusually explicit account of his motives and inspiration:

My intention was to paint a tone picture of my life. The first movement depicts my youthful leanings towards art…. The second movement, a quasi-polka, brings to my mind the joyful days of my youth when I composed dance tunes and was known everywhere as a passionate lover of dancing. The third movement… reminds me of the happiness of my first love, the girl who later became my first wife. The fourth movement describes the discovery that I could treat national elements in music, and my joy in following this path until it was checked by the catastrophe of the onset of my deafness….

Smetana refused to be daunted by his illness, however: his last three operas (The Kiss, The Secret, and The Devil’s Wall) were all written while deaf, and in his final decade he was widely honored as the foremost Czech composer of his time.

Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) wrote his String Quartet No. 12 (“American Quartet”) in June 1893 during a summer vacation in Spillville, Iowa. Having just come from a stimulating yet stressful time in New York City, Dvořák was overjoyed at the peaceful atmosphere of the farming community—a calm that found expression in the pastoral mood of this quartet. This retreat was a very productive time for Dvořák: he sketched the Quartet in only three days, finishing the composition before the month was out. The Kneisel Quartet premiered the work in Boston the following January, only a few weeks after the triumphal New York City premiere of his Symphony No. 9 “From the New World.” Dvořák was at the height of his fame.

The first movement (Allegro ma non troppo) is a joyful pastoral, with driving passages of dance-like rhythms and a gentler, more lyrical second theme. The reflective second movement (Lento) features soaring lyricism and long-breathed phrases, while the third movement (Molto vivace) is a rollicking scherzo that features a sly reference to the scarlet tanager, an American songbird. The last movement (Finale: Vivace ma non troppo) returns to the driving rhythms of the first.

Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) is widely known for his immensely popular operas La bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, yet he also composed a small number of little-known instrumental works. He wrote his mournful single-movement quartet Crisantemi (“Chrysanthemums”) in January 1890 on the death of Prince Amadeo of Savoy. It was a turbulent period in Puccini’s life as well: his 1889 opera Edgar had failed on one of the most prestigious stages in Europe, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and he was in dire financial straits. It would be several years before he achieved the artistic and commercial successes of his third opera, Manon Lescaut, which opened in February 1893 in Turin. Crisantemi features lush phrasing, exquisite melodies, and dramatic expressive gestures; parts of this composition were later folded into Manon Lescaut.
Program notes written by Stephen Armstrong.

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