Jan 15

Colin Currie Group gives Belgian premiere of Quartet

Colin and the ensemble travelled to Belgium this week for a concert at the Handelsbeurs Concertzaal in Gent (21 January).

As well as performing Clapping Music, Nagoya Marimbas and John Adams’s Hallelujah Junction, the Group gave the Belgian premiere of Reich’s Quartet (in performance, pictured), which was composed for them.

More information and images

Press coverage from the world premiere of Quartet:
“The melody, touched in delicately by Currie and Sam Walton on vibraphones, seemed to be sung rather than struck. It was like a dancing song of praise, and suddenly we seemed to be somewhere ancient. Then, in the cheerfully dancing final movement, the New York neon lights came back.”
Daily Telegraph, October 2014

Quartet has plenty of antecedents in Reich’s output, both for its glittering, glamorous sound-world, and also its two-times-two pairing of instruments playing in canon (copying each other at a short distance). But it also connects with a specifically American tradition, at times fleetingly echoing Bernstein or even Sondheim…”
Financial Times, October 2014

“Relaxed, intimate and bittersweet in mood, [Quartet] is a chamber work in essence, written with the kind of egalitarianism between the musicians that we often find in string quartets, as the emphasis shuttles fluidly from one player, or combination of players, to the next. The slow central section, with its twisting vibraphone lines and shifting harmonies, is somewhat impressionistic. Rhythmic propulsion in the more dynamic outer movements frequently gives way to block chordal figurations that briefly unite all four players in music of considerable rhythmic complexity. Its grace belies its difficulty: it was played with an unassuming virtuosity and a well-nigh faultless sense of ensemble, in which mutual understanding is paramount. Reich was given a hero’s reception when it was over…”
Guardian, October 2014