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Edgar Meyer: Quintet; Ned Rorem: String Quartet No. 4
Edgar Meyer, Ned Rorem
Edgar Meyer: Quintet; Ned Rorem: String Quartet No. 4
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

We get so little from Rorem these days that whenever anything appears, it's worth noting. Here, his String Quartet 4 (1994) is more acerbic than anything he's done; it's also more emotionally expressive. In it, though, you...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Edgar Meyer, Ned Rorem
Title: Edgar Meyer: Quintet; Ned Rorem: String Quartet No. 4
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 4/14/1998
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028945350622

Synopsis

Amazon.com
We get so little from Rorem these days that whenever anything appears, it's worth noting. Here, his String Quartet 4 (1994) is more acerbic than anything he's done; it's also more emotionally expressive. In it, though, you can hear the neo-Romantic core of his being. Small themes and moments of melody emerge, despite the clamor. Meyer's contribution to this release is the very beautiful Quintet (1995), for string quartet and double bass (which gets several nice boogie-woogie passages all on its lonesome). The Meyer clearly has more humor than the Rorem, but the merits of both are worth your time. --Paul Cook
 

CD Reviews

One of the all-time-great sucker punches!
Bob Zeidler | Charlton, MA United States | 05/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Edgar Meyer has become, in fairly short order, a crossover quadruple threat: Classical double-bassist with impeccable bona fides (Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center), chamber-grass bassist extraordinaire, crossover composer, and, here, (somewhat more) serious composer. And a man with a great sense of humor.

To grasp the humor, one need only read Meyer's booklet notes for his Quintet (for string quartet plus, of course, double bass): "The piece is in four movements. The first is a cross between theme and variation and variations on a ground bass. The second movement is moderate with some sense of humor. The third is slow and devoid of humor. The fourth is fast (and difficult)."

I'm not sure anyone will actually read these cryptic notes before putting the disc in the player (much less base a purchase decision on the notes). This is, after all, the raison d'étre of the reviewer. Permit me to serve that purpose briefly.

The first movement really sounds like... Is that Janacek I hear? Why, lordy be, it sure could be! (See the capsule summary at the top.) From there on out, it's pure Edgar at his best: Secure knowledge and use of what can be done on, with and for strings, chock full of his by-now well-known cross-rhythms, staggering (bordering on unbelievable) solo bass work, full of humor. And, oh! Did I mention the look back at Janacek?

The Rorem is O.K. Didn't buy it for that anyway. Get it for the Meyer; this man's on the cusp of greatness!

Bob Zeidler"
FINALLY!
George Amorim | Brasil | 12/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a double bassist and I also play on a string quintet. I just heard the most beautiful contemporary peace for string quintet! I was waiting a couple of months to listen the Edgar Meyer String Quintet. I was rewarded. The record is very good, even more played by the Emerson Quartet and the virtuose Edgar Meyer.And now it is the HIT PARADE on my sound sistem. It's great! Beautiful!. Congratulations."
Meyer an American classic
Bob Zeidler | 02/14/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"the extremely versatile Edgar Meyer has done it again. this time he's given us a joyful string quintet. It's nice to hear a contemporary composer write something that doesn't sound like it was supposed to be played on pots and pans. I love dissonance, but sweet melody is nice every once in a while!"