Exposé Online banner

Peter Garland — String Quartets
(Cold Blue CB0031, 2009, CD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2010-07-01

String Quartets Cover artExuberant, bright and energetic, these two string quartets performed by Apartment House ( a traditional line-up of two violins, viola and cello) manage to cover a few centuries’ worth of style while never departing from a very contemporary aesthetic that finds unique inflections from Native American and Japanese cultures. Garland’s first, “String Quartet No. 1, ‘In Praise of Poor Scholars,’”seems to reference a number of styles and periods, but does so in a somewhat superficial way, acknowledging diverse compositional techniques without resorting to either emulation or pastiche. Like the music, the titles’ inferences are playful and poetic. Movements are given engaging, conversational and descriptive names: “Like an elegant slow dance...” and “Like a simple Indian dance–elegant and eloquent.” So like, but at the same time unlike. The six movements of “String Quartet No.1” display theme and variation – the opening movement “Rondeau ‘nouveau’” displays a deft and rapid progression that shifts from a simple opening phrase through multiple variations to a sort of phase music peak all in a matter of just a few minutes – as well as a more intuitive slip and slide contrasts in rhythm, timbre and touch. The five movements of “Quartet No. 2, ‘Crazy Cloud’”are as immaculately detailed as the and demonstrate a somewhat broader emotional range, momentarily setting aside the ever present vigor and shine for a somewhat minor-key movement that is reflective, slower, even a bit mournful. Garland provides listeners with access to remarkably intelligent and highly approachable 20th century works.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Peter Garland

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas - Rhizosphere / Live, Paris 1982 – At last, a reissue of Pinhas' first and certainly most purely electronic album recorded under his own name. It also marks a time when this was the distinction between Pinhas' solo material and...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues