Joseph Summer: Sea Change String Quartets
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Joseph Summer's sixth recording for Albany Records features his string quartets.

Joseph Summer is familiar to audiences both as a composer and as the founder/director of The Shakespeare Concerts. Summer's oeuvre includes eight operas, chamber opera, cantatas, more than 100 vocal works, string quartets and many works for chamber ensembles. He studied at Oberlin and Carnegie Mellon University. This is the sixth recording of his music for Albany Records. The Ulysses Quartet was founded in 2015 and won a gold medal at the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition. They have performed around the world to critical acclaim and advocate for music by underrepresented composers.
Contents:
Joseph Summer, composer
Sea Change #1 - "I to the world am like a drop of water"
Ulysses Quartet

Joseph Summer, composer
Sea Change #2 - "unpath'd waters, undream'd shores"
Ulysses Quartet

Review:
The composer Joseph Summer returns with his 6th album on the Albany label, where the Ulysses Quartet flesh out the 2 very involved pieces. “Sea Change #1” occupies the first half of the listen, where Christina Bouey and Rhiannon Banerdt’s meticulous violins interact with the cello and viola for a very gripping and flowing display of dynamic string interaction. The back half of the affair, “Sea Change #2”, opens with a very intimate presence, where Colin Brookes’ expressive viola and Grace Ho’s poetic cello help the 3 chapters emit both minimal and busier moments. A recording that captures Summer’s always exceptional vision of chamber music, the Ulysses Quartet’s unparalleled chemistry makes for a must hear record for those with an inkling towards strings. (www.takeeffect.com)

Joseph Summer, who has had a good number of CDs reviewed in the pages of Fanfare, may be best known in the music world as a fine composer of operas and art songs based on the writings of William Shakespeare, but he is certainly no Johnny-One-Note when it comes to composing, as he has written masterfully and successfully in any number of other genres. The present disc only confirms my plerophory, as it is given over entirely to the string quartet medium—one of my favorite ensembles in music. The title of the present disc is Sea Change String Quartets and is the first volume in a series by the Ulysses Quartet that will eventually cover all of Summer’s works in that medium. On the basis of what I hear in the present disc, I shall be greatly looking forward to a perlustration of the forthcoming issues in the set, however many they might be.… I must also sing the praises of the Ulysses Quartet, a group previously unknown to me. Their reading of these two demanding masterpieces proves them to be an ensemble to be reckoned with, and I shall be on the lookout for other recordings (including, as mentioned above, their future releases of Summer’s further quartet music). These four consummate artists include Christina Bouey and Rhiannon Banerdt, violins, Colin Brookes, viola, and Grace Ho, cello. The recorded sound on this Albany disc could simply not be bettered, and the entire production bespeaks excellence of the highest order. For those as enamored of the string quartet medium as I am, I cannot state firmly enough that you owe it to yourself to acquire this disc with alacrity. Five stars: Two new masterpieces for string quartet, impeccably performed by four master musicians. (Fanfare)
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