Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – Quartets Three & Four (2022) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd - Quartets Three & Four (2022) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz] Download

Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – Quartets Three & Four (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 40:55 minutes | 786 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

All good things come in fours, could be the motto of the latest recording by the renowned cellist and composer Peter Gregson. Thus, under the title “Quartets: Three and Four”, a digital album will be released by Deutsche Grammophon on 11 November that testifies to the exclusive artist of the yellow label’s intensive engagement with the quartet form.”Quartet of Quartets”

The form of the string quartet has long fascinated the multi-talented artist Peter Gregson. Thus, he appreciates it as a “powerful instrument in its own right with an incredible sound” and, moreover, as a “medium with a magnificent expressive power and an unprecedented repertoire that goes back hundreds of years”. He himself wanted to build on this compositional history and set himself the goal of creating a “quartet of quartets”, four different pieces for four voices, which together in turn form a quartet. The first two works of this programmatic concept were released in 2016 and 2017 as EPs “Quartets: One” and “Quartets: Two”; with the new album, Gregson now closes the circle and presents the third and fourth part of the large-scale project.

The third quartet: a breathing soundscape

With the third and fourth quartets, Gregson picks up directly from his first two quartets, in which he developed from a purely acoustic overall sound to the use of synthesizers as a further instrumental level. He continues along this path, especially in the 3rd quartet, adding further electronic effects to create rich sonic textures. Gregson’s aim here was to create “a breathing soundscape”, as he says, “in which the natural warmth of the string quartet and the potentially cold world of electronics can coexist”. To do this, he selected various electronic elements such as reverbs, delays, harmonisers and synthesizers, all of which were physically present and recorded in the same way as the string quartet. The musicians, in turn, heard the electronics through headphones and could react to them in the room.

The fourth quartet: pure sound as an aspiration

In the 4th Quartet, the composer’s ambition was to further develop his “understanding of pure quartet composition” and to explore the individual lines as well as the common voice of the four instruments. Accordingly, Gregson returns here to a purely acoustic setup in a more classical sound world and has dedicated a remarkable piece to the Carducci Quartet. Under the title “Three Parallels”, Gregson repeatedly brings three voices of the ensemble together in this quartet, while the fourth follows its own line, only to switch roles again shortly afterwards. Gregson himself describes the tonal language of this quartet as “outwardly melodic and tonal, but not to be confused with comfortable”. Thus, there would be fine details within the piece that, like little ripples in the water, keep evolving and changing through the work’s three movements.

Masterly natural

Peter Gregson is a creator of sound who is a master at intuitively blending classical compositional techniques and electronic innovations to create an extremely exciting cosmos of sound. This can be experienced impressively on the new album “Quartets: Three and Four”. Gregson shows his skills in both the purely acoustic and the electronic phrases, whereby the electronic effects intensively enrich the sound picture without ever seeming artificial. Thus, the conclusion of Peter Gregson’s quartet series offers an impressive listening experience that explores the special density and complexity of the string quartet in a fascinating way.

Tracklist:

1-01. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – I. Even (05:37)
1-02. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – II. Up (02:43)
1-03. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – III. Sequence (Eight) (03:19)
1-04. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – IV. Cantus (04:49)
1-05. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – V. Murmuration (03:37)
1-06. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – VI. …from a memory (05:49)
1-07. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – I. Three Parallels: 1 (05:14)
1-08. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – II. Three Parallels: 2 (05:02)
1-09. Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Warren Zielinski, Ben Hancox, James Boyd – III. Three Parallels: 3 (04:41)

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