Ezra Laderman & Mark Brunswick: Works for String Quartet
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL244     Release Date: 2010-08-01

 Galimir String Quartet: Felix Galimir, violin; Hiroko Yajima, violin; Samuel Rhodes, viola; Fortunato Arico, cello; Julius Levine, bass; Isidore Cohen, violin; Samuel Rhodes, viola; Robert Sylvester, cello

Ezra Laderman's Quartet No. 2 was composed in 1963-64, near the end of a period when Laderman was engrossed in the technique of “continuous development.” It makes use of a broadly pointillist technique that results in a brilliant tapestry of sound that Musical America said, “seethes with sombre intensity.” The entire three movements are built on a single 24-note line. This line is made up of four “cells” and they make up the four phrases of the initial presentation of what is clearly and unequivocally a theme — to some listeners a welcome rarity. After a second complete statement is offered by the cello, the notes of each cell in turn serve as the basis for a brief development, then again for a longer development. Finally, the whole line reappears as the movement ends.

The second movement, a scherzo, is based on a transformation of the original line. The composer points to the true recapitulation here as evidence that, despite his use of certain serial techniques, this is not strictly a 12-tone composition. The trio is notable in that the entire line is exposed simultaneously on separate (and distinct) levels. The finale is a cumulative accelerando, the movement gathering speed inexorably, with only an occasional moment of serenity to provide relief.

Mark Brunswick writes,

“I love the strings, but in later years I wondered why the 18th and 19th century combination of two violins, viola and cello was still sacrosanct. In 1954, when I wrote these very short, perhaps somewhat expressionist movements (followed by a somewhat longer prelude on a hymn), I did not feel the need for more than three instruments. But, facing the reality that fills the musical performing world with about 100 string quartets for every string trio, I tried to combine my need for only three instruments with the varying sonorous possibilities of the whole quartet. The basis of each movement of the Seven Trios is one of the seven poems by myself, which I tried to transmute into music.”

“In 1956, when I wrote the Quartet, I was perhaps less consistent: I did away with the second violin but added the double bass to make a string quartet with extended range and expressive capacity (I also love the sounds of a double bass as a solo instrument and felt that it had been too sadly neglected).

“I like to write music that is not very long, so it turned out that the two movements, considerably longer and more developed than the concise, in a sense epigrammatic movements of the Seven Trios, are still not as long as a conventional quartet. It is probably irrelevant that the first of the two is in sonata form, in the late-Beethovian way, the slow and fast parts being integrated into one, flowing whole. The form of the second I never worked out.”


This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Galimir String Quartet

Ezra Laderman & Mark Brunswick: Works for String Quartet

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

String Quartet: I. Lento
Mark Brunswick
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String Quartet: II. Allegro molto
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: I. Lento non troppo
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: II. Moderato
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: III. Largamente
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: IV. Andante - mesto e semplice
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: V. Andante
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: VI. Allegro
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: I. Lento non troppo (reprise)
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: II. Moderato (reprise)
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: III. Largamente (reprise)
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: IV. Andante - mesto e semplice (reprise)
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: V. Andante (reprise)
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: VI. Allegro (reprise)
Mark Brunswick
Buy
Seven Trios for String Quartet: VII. Andante sostenuto
Mark Brunswick
Buy
String Quartet No. 2: I. -
Ezra Laderman
Buy
String Quartet No. 2: II. Scherzo
Ezra Laderman
Buy
String Quartet No. 2: III. Poco adagio
Ezra Laderman
Buy