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Artist: Jasper String Quartet

Composers: Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, David Lang, Donnacha Dennehy, Ted Hearne

Format: 1 CD


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As the members of a string quartet, we are incredibly lucky. The four of us have spent the past decade playing together, learning to breathe and move as one. We’re honored to play in the most intimate settings and the top concert halls. Most importantly, the music we play is the best that there is. 

Seeking out new pieces to contribute to this conversation is as important, if not more so, as rediscovering the sublime human experience of a Beethoven quartet. The seven pieces on this album represent a collection of treasures we’ve discovered from this century. One of these pieces, Annie Gosfield’s “The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon” was written expressly for our quartet. The rest we unearthed as we sifted through the vibrant and varied landscape of music being created today. We sought to find a set of pieces that were both enchanting on their own and together represent a cohesive aesthetic. From the immense technical challenges of Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor”, the meditative contemplation of David Lang’s “almost all the time”, to the raw emotion and vivid imagery of Missy Mazzoli’s “Death Valley Junction”, these pieces represent an incredible diversity of sound and style. Yet they all reside comfortably in this wonderful tradition of string quartets, of which we are lucky enough to be a part.

—Jasper String Quartet


Jasper String Quartet

Winner of the prestigious CMA Cleveland Quartet Award, Philadelphia’s Jasper String Quartet is the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. The Jaspers record exclusively for Sono Luminus and have released three highly acclaimed albums in addition to this one - “Beethoven Op. 131”, “The Kernis Project: Schubert”, and “The Kernis Project: Beethoven”.


Track List

Caroline Shaw
1. Valencia    5:57

Missy Mazzoli
2. Death Valley Junction    8:53

Annie Gosfield
3. The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon        16:23

Judd Greenstein
4. Four on the Floor    10:45

David Lang
5. almost all the time    18:02

Donnacha Dennehy
6. Pushpulling     5:11

Ted Hearne
7. Excerpts from the middle of something (from Law of Mosaics)     3:39

Total time: 68:46
Release date: March 17, 2017
UPC: 053479221223

Quotes & Reviews

Wonderful moments and dramatic tours de force abound…

Laurence Vittes, Gramophone

As much as delving into the background of each piece enhances the listening experience, it's the quartet's performances that matter most, and on that count there's little question Unbound succeeds. Technically, there's nothing the quartet can't do…

Ron Schepper, Textura

If someone still lacks any doubts about the expressive potential and the vitality of contemporary music, this CD, thanks to the extraordinary quality of the performances, will also reassure the most obstinate skeptics and delight the ears of every enthusiast.

Filippo Focosi, Kathodik

…if there’s one takeaway from this disc (and there’s more than one, to be sure), it’s the sheer versatility of expression still to be mined out of the already-heavily-explored genre of the string quartet.

Johathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse

Unbound easily takes its place as one of 2017's essential string quartet releases…

Jeremy Shatan, AnEarful

The Jaspers... match their sounds perfectly, as if each swelling chord were coming out of a single, impossibly well-tuned organ, instead of four distinct instruments.
— New Haven Advocate

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