AMN Reviews: Salvatore Sciarrino – String Quartets

Salvatore Sciarrino, Italian composer, at the ...
Salvatore Sciarrino, Italian composer, at the piazza of Città di Castello, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Salvatore Sciarrino: String Quartets [Kairos 0013212KAI]

The context for this collection of string quartets by composer Salvatore Sciarrino is directly addressed in the excellent booklet accompanying the CD. In a set of reflections on the string quartet as a genre, the composer remarks that the quartet represents a convergence of intimacy of expression with the elevation of style. And that observation provides an excellent point of entry into the works presented here.

The single-movement Quartet No 7 begins the program, with an emphasis on the expressive as conveyed by an adaptation of more-or-less conventional technique. Sciarrino writes that the quartet arose from his long involvement with works for voice, and the characteristic sound here is decidedly that of the inflections and phrasing of the human voice. The piece is marked by generous use of glissandi and a balance of ranges which, taken together, produce passages that one could almost recognize as the distinct speech acts of asking, imploring, admonishing, etc. Quartet No 8, also a one-movement piece, features a parallelism of voices matching the violins’ high harmonics to the cello’s middle range. The 8th quartet’s emphasis on extreme high harmonics foreshadows the predominant sound of the six short quartets that follow. Like the 7th quartet these pieces, written between 1967 and 1992, often embody a vocal quality, whether in the dialogue-like phrasing in the first and second quartets, the prolonged shrieks passing from voice to voice in the third quartet, or the urgently “spoken” microtones of the fifth quartet. The cycle ends with a kind of quiet anticipation, which seems to correspond to Sciarrino’s thoughts on the survivability of art through historical continuity and interruption. The performances, by the Quartetto Prometeo, rise to the interpretive challenge this music undoubtedly poses.

Coming to Philadelphia

From Philly’s Rip Rig:

Sunday, April 21, 2013, 8:00PM


Anna Webber – tenor sax, flute
Oscar Noriega – alto sax, clarinet
Matt Mitchell – piano
Patty Franceschy – vibraphone
Adam Hopkins – bass
Kate Pittman – drums
Devin Gray – drums

Loose Canon

Mike Watson – bass clarinet
Alban Bailly – guitar
Matt Engle- bass
Mike Szekely – drums

Roscoe Mitchell Concert in Seattle This June

saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell at the Pomigliano ...
saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell at the Pomigliano Jazz Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Nonaah:

New Music record label Table & Chairs is proud to present a performance dedicated to Roscoe Mitchell‘s renowned composition, “Nonaah” [noh-NAY-uh], at Benaroya Hall‘s Nordstrom Recital Hall on June 7th at 8:00 PM. The performance will feature Mitchell giving a rare, extended solo saxophone performance and the world premier of a new arrangement of “Nonaah” for the Table & Chairs group, Lawson. Bad Luck will also present a contemporary piece rooted in the melodic themes of “Nonaah.” The rest of the program will comprise of different arrangements of “Nonaah.” The event will also include a pre-concert talk with Mitchell, which will consist of an interview about his career and the evolution of the renowned piece, as well as a question-and- answer session with the audience.

Benaroya’s Nordstrom Recital Hall; Friday, June 7th; Pre-concert talk at 7:15; Concert begins at 8:00 pm. $30 general; $20 students.

Upcoming New York Shows Featuring Chuck Bettis and Others


From Chuck Bettis:

Saturday, May 11th

Jessica Pavone & Chuck Bettis duo
(viola, electronics, throat)
Jeremiah Cymerman
(clarinet & electronics)

Freedom Garden
294 Troutman St. Apt. 1L
Brooklyn, NY
start time 9pm


Wednesday, May 22nd

Pet Bottle Ningen
Mick Barr (Krallice)/Johnny Deblase (Cleric)/Larry Kwartowitz (Cleric)
Brown Wing Overdrive
(Original trio line-up, resurrected!)

Silent Barn (downstairs)
603 Buschwick Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11206

All About Jazz Reviews

English: Rent Romus performing at the San Fran...
English: Rent Romus performing at the San Francisco Community Music Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From All About Jazz:

konstruKt w/Peter Brotzmann
Eklisia Sunday (Not Two Records)

Sewn (482 Music)

Iva Bittova
Iva Bittova (ECM Records)

Bruno Heinen Sextet
Tierkreis (Babel Label)

Ensemble 5
Solstice (Leo Records)

Jean-Luc Cappozzo & Geraldine Keller
Air Prints (Ayler Records)

Frank Lowe
The Loweski (ESP Disk)

Dewa Budjana
Dewa Budjana: Dawai In Paradise (Moonjune Records)

Evgeny Masloboev & Anastasia Masloboeva
Russian Folk Songs in the Key of New Jazz (Leo Records)

Rent Romus‘ Lords of Outland
Thee Unhip (Edgetone Records)

Miles Davis
Live in Europe 1969 The Bootleg Series Vol 2 (Legacy Recordings)

Sudo Quartet
Live at Banlieue Bleue (No Business Records)