Attacca Quartet – Of All Joys (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Attacca Quartet – Of All Joys (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:03:06 minutes | 1,1 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Sony Classical

“Of All Joys” – the new record from the Grammy Award-winning string ensemble – is their attempt to recapture all that, and to revel in the beauty and wonder of great works from both the minimalist and Renaissance eras. “Ultimately,” says cellist Andrew Yee, “it is about the joy of coming together and making something that is more beautiful than you can make yourself.”

The record’s title is adapted from a lyric – “And tears and sighs and groans my weary days / Of all joys have deprived” – from John Dowland’s Flow My Tears, an instrumental version of which appears here. e yourself.” That line hit hard, says Yee, and resonated with how isolation affected the quartet.

Of All Joys begins and ends in the modern era with Arvo P”art; Glass’ work acts as an anchor in the middle. With Summa, P”art’s gaze was already turned toward the historical; as Yee wryly notes, first-time listeners will be hard pushed to discern whether it was written in 1990 or 1690. Luca Marenzio’s Solo e pensoso is quintessentially of the Renaissance secular tradition, while John Bennet’s Weep, O Mine Eyes sets a more somber tone. The idiomatically instrumental Orlando Gibbons’ Fantasia in D minor reminds us of the capabilities of many strings vibrating at once, and neatly contrasts with the outward melancholy of Glass’ string quartet. Gregorio Allegri picks up from the reconciliation of Glass’ final movement, “Mishima / Closing”, with the vocal and spiritual heights of Miserere. To further emphasize contrast, John Bennet’s Weep, O Mine Eyes sits next to Clemens Non Papa’s biblically inspired yet sensually inclined Ego flos campi, before a return to P”art’s modern asceticism with Fratres.

There’s a rich sense of reverence to each of the works featured here, but a freshness too. And, above all, respect and admiration, and love for the art. “In many ways this album expresses one of the biggest reasons one would choose to play in a string quartet,” says Schroeder. “The beautiful organ-like chords and the purity of the harmony in these pieces is extremely satisfying and even when ‘sad’ in nature, they are a true joy to play. One can find solace and inner peace when the balance is just right.”

01. P”art: Summa
02. Marenzio: Solo e pensoso
03. Dowland: Flow My Tears (Lachrimae)
04. Gibbons: Fantasia a 6 in D Minor
05. Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: I. 1957 – Award Montage
06. Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: II. November 25 – Ishigaya
07. Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: III. 1934 – Grandmother and Kimitake
08. Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: IV. 1962 – Body Building
09. Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: V. Blood Oath
10. Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: VI. Mishima / Closing
11. Allegri: Miserere
12. Bennet: Weep, O Mine Eyes
13. Papa: Ego flos campi a 7
14. P”art: Fratres