Ezra Sims: Chamber Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR784     Release Date: 1998-01-01
Elsa Charlston, soprano; Boston Musica Viva: (Nancy Cirillo, violin; Mary Hess, violin; Aaron Picht, viola; Bruce Coppock, cello; Fenwick Smith, flute; William Wrzesien, clarinet; Richard Pittman, conductor); The Lenox Quartet: (Peter Marsh, violin; Theodora Mantz, violin; Paul Hersh, viola; Donald McCall, cello)

How can I talk about twenty to thirty-five year-old pieces? My very molecules have replaced themselves three or four times since they were written. Someone else wrote them—I certainly couldn’t now.

Third Quartet was the culmination of a crucial but transitional stage; String Quartet No. 2 (1962) was the real inauguration of a lasting one that I’m still exploring and expanding.

When I wrote Third Quartet, I was still modest enough to think you should do what your elders had always told you to do. So when I came to have to use intervals smaller than the half-step, they—with the exception of Partch, whose sliding triads and pentatonicism were of no use to me—seemed to prescribe quarter-tones.

Quarter-tones were from the beginning a help, but not the whole help. Of the six pieces I wrote using them, the first I lost (probably a good thing); the second I suppressed; the next three (two quartets that can be made into an octet) turned out to be O.K., but were more training than accomplishment. By the time I'd finished my last quarter-tone piece, Third Quartet, I'd come to realize there was a much richer and more natural world out there that my ear was begging to be allowed to explore.
—Ezra Sims, Cambridge, September 1997


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order 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).

Boston Musica Viva

Ezra Sims: Chamber Works

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Track Listing

String Quartet No. 2: I. Fluent and always placid
Ezra Sims
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String Quartet No. 2: II. Calmly moving
Ezra Sims
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String Quartet No. 2: III. Cheerfully Fast
Ezra Sims
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String Quartet No. 2: IV. The same
Ezra Sims
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String Quartet No. 2: V. Quick and lightfooted
Ezra Sims
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Elegie - nach Rilke
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: I. Rushing
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: II. Quite slow - still and intense
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: III. Fast and furious
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: IV. Slow but moving
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: V. Calm fluent and graceful
Ezra Sims
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