Vitamin takes on the brood and sway of Depeche Mode with this string quartet tribute, running through nine of the band's songs with the aid of violin, cello, acoustic bass, viola, and a bit of percussion. Like most string interpretations of pop music, the album can grow tedious over the long haul. However, there's plenty to like incrementally, especially for fans. Highlights include "Personal Jesus," with its hint of mouth percussion during the breakdown, and the violins aping the tradeoff vocals of "Master and Servant." There are a few glaring omissions – "Everything Counts" and "Policy of Truth" among them. Even still, Depeche Mode completists should get a kick out of the novelty and slight decadence of this collection.
Over the past four decades, the Arditti Quartet have collaborated with almost all the great composers of our time, many of whom, from Elliott Carter to Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi to Harrison Birtwistle, have written pieces specifically for the group. But none of the Ardittis' associations have been as long-lasting and productive as that with Brian Ferneyhough. Since they gave the first performance of his Second String Quartet in 1980, Ferneyhough has ……..Andrew Clements @ The Guardian
Through his far-reaching endeavors as composer, performer, educator, and ethnomusicolgist, Béla Bartók emerged as one of the most forceful and influential musical personalities of the twentieth century. Born in Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary (now Romania), on March 25, 1881, Bartók began his musical training with piano studies at the age of five, foreshadowing his lifelong affinity for the instrument. Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Music in 1901 and the composition of his first mature works – most notably, the symphonic poem Kossuth (1903) – Bartók embarked on one of the classic field studies in the history of ethnomusicology. With fellow countryman and composer Zoltán Kodály, he traveled throughout Hungary ……..From Allmusic
These quartets are Juilliard specialties, and anyone wanting to hear this music played with a near ideal combination of virtuosity and humanity need look no further. Carter's quartets are not for the musically faint of heart: they are uncompromisingly thorny, intricate pieces that require lots of intense, dedicated listening. Very few people doubt their seriousness–or even their claims to musical greatness–but just as few people enjoy listening to them. Perhaps this spectacular set will encourage the adventurous to give them a shot. They're worth the time.
It has been awhile since anyone recorded a new disc of Charles Ives' string quartets, and here the Blair String Quartet takes the plunge. He only wrote two numbered quartets that are like equivalents to night and day – the radiant, camp meeting-inspired First Quartet and the furiously punk-meets-transcendentalism Second. String Quartet No. 1, "From the Salvation Army," dates from 1898 and contains some of Ives' finest instrumental music couched in a reasonably stable and conventional style.
Alban Berg wrote twice for string quartet, and both results stand tall in his output. On this Naive disc, a reissue of an earlier Montaigne release, the Arditti Quartet perform these pieces. The lineup of the Ardittis at this time was Irvine Arditti and David Alberman (violin), Levine Andrade (viola) and Rohan de Saram (cello).