Alexander String Quartet, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern
The Alexander String Quartet, now in its 31st season and among the world's premiere chamber ensembles, releases a vibrant new recording of much-loved music by George Gershwin and Jerome Kern on its Foghorn Classics label, available from Allegro Classical. The quartet is joined by clarinetist Joan Enric Lluna for an exhilarating performance of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess suite in a new arrangement by Carl Davis, along with six Jerome Kern masterpieces, including Bill, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Once in a Blue Moon, plus Gershwin's beautiful Lullaby for String Quartet.
This quintessentially American recording was inspired from a conversation between Lluna and Carl Davis following a performance in Spain, when the clarinetist confessed that he loved playing Gershwin songs more than anything else. Lluna suggested an arrangement for clarinet and string quartet, his ASQ collaborators - with whom he had previously recorded clarinet quintets by Brahms, Mozart and César Cano - in minD. Davis took the original Heifetz piano version and rapidly arranged the violin part for clarinet, but with an added unique twist: brief solo cadenzas which lead the listener from one movement to the next.
Violinists Zakarias Grafilo and Frederick Lifsitz, violist Paul Yarbrough, and cellist Sandy Wilson of the Alexander String Quartet, formed in 1981, have performed in the major music capitals of five continents. Widely acclaimed for its interpretations of Beethoven, Mozart, and Shostakovich, the Quartet has also established itself as an important advocate of new music through over 25 commissions and numerous premieres. Its impressive discography includes major cycles by Mozart, Shostakovich, and Beethoven, for which Music Web International called the group "uncompromising in their power, intensity and spiritual depth." Complete Bartok and Kodaly cycles are in the works for next year.
Based in San Francisco, the Alexander String Quartet serves as directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center at San Francisco State Universityand is Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances. The ASQ has numerous performances this season around San Francisco and beyond, including performances at Baruch College in New York City in November and April.
For more information, visit www.asq4.com.
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