HEAVY

Description: 
The perfect answer to Light
Composers: 
Don Byron
John Halle
Julia Wolfe
John King
Raz Mesinai
David Lang
Kenji Bunch
Marcelo Zarvos
Performers: 
ETHEL
Cornelius Dufallo
Mary Rowell
Ralph Farris
Dorothy Lawson
Kenji Bunch
Catalog Number: 
#820
Genre: 
new music
Collection: 
string quartet
Location: 

New York, NY

UPC: 
726708682026
Price: 
$15.00
Release Date: 
Apr 24, 2012
Format: 
1 CD
Front page image
Front page image
Front page image

HEAVY

One Sheet: 

Acclaimed as America’s premier post-classical string quartet, ETHEL presents a power-packed, sonic snapshot of the group’s life in New York City in its latest album Heavy. It’s only fitting that after 14 years of performing, commissioning, composing, collaborating and living in New York City, ETHEL celebrates the composers from NYC’s music community.

Recorded over an 18-month period by Cornelius Dufallo (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), Mary Rowell (violin), and Ralph Farris (viola), Heavy features works by eight celebrated contemporary composers: Don Byron, John Halle, Julia Wolfe, John King, Raz Mesinai, David Lang, Kenji Bunch, and Marcelo Zarvos. The album follows an organic progression from Don Byron’s intense, jazz-influenced “String Quartet No. 2: Four Thoughts on Marvin Gaye” tracks to the engaging “Rounds“ by Brazilian film composer Marcelo Zarvos.

“ETHEL has been playing most of these composers’ works ever since the group’s inception 14 years ago,” says Ralph Farris, co-founder of ETHEL. “These composers – this city – are so much a part of who we are as a group. This album serves as an homage to New York City, its people, and its music.” Heavy marks ETHEL’s third release, and serves as the group’s counterpoint to their most recent album LIGHT (Cantaloupe Music, 2006), which was selected as #3 on Amazon.com’s “Best of 2006: Top Classical Editor’s Picks”.

About ETHEL

ETHEL boldly infuses contemporary concert music with fierce intensity, questioning the boundaries between performer and audience, tradition and technology. Formed in 1998, New York’s ebullient ETHEL performs adventurous music of the past four decades including repertoire by Phil Kline, David Lang, John Zorn, Steve Reich, JacobTV, Don Byron, Evan Ziporyn, and Mary Ellen Childs. Boldly exploring new synergies, ETHEL initiates innovative collaborations with an extraordinary community of international artists such as Joe Jackson, Kurt Elling, Bang on a Can, Todd Rundgren, David Byrne, Ursula Oppens, Loudon Wainwright III, STEW, Ensemble Modern, Jill Sobule, Joshua Fried, Andrew Bird, Iva Bittová, Colin Currie, Thomas Dolby, Steve Coleman, Stephen Gosling, Jake Shimabukuro and Polygraph Lounge. ETHEL currently serves as Ensemble-in-Residence with the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project, was recently the 2011 Artists-in-Residence at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory, and continues as the House Band and Music Curator for TEDx: Manhattan, TedX: Big Apple, and TEDx: Tempe.

Reviews: 

NEW YORK TIMES
“indefatigable and eclectic”

THE NEW YORKER
“vital and brilliant”  

NEW YORK MAGAZINE
“ultra-innovative…enterprising” 

TIME OUT NEW YORK
“fearless…pioneering”

PITCHFORK
"Ethel are an infectiously visceral quartet … a living affront to the misconception that chamber music is polite, white-napkin stuff, best deployed at corporate functions and rehearsal dinners as civilizing perfume. Heavy is one of their most persuasive cases yet … It reaffirms Ethel's status as a necessary jet of cold water in the contemporary classical scene." [FULL ARTICLE]
Jayson Greene 

ALL MUSIC GUIDE
"The power, inventiveness, diversity of repertoire, and the composers' exceptionally high level of skill in writing for string quartet make this album reminiscent of the groundbreaking releases by the Kronos Quartet from the 1980s and early '90s … [T]he players demonstrate a fearless mastery of this music's daunting technical and interpretive challenges … The sound of the Innova CD is pristine and brilliant, with an almost startling sense of immediacy." [FULL ARTICLE]
Stephen Eddins 

NEW JERSEY STAR LEDGER
"[A] sophisticated, sometimes dark and viscerally appealing set tinged with rock, funk and bluegrass." [FULL ARTICLE]
Ronnie Reich 

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
"The music sometimes has the weight of amp-overloading metal, with insistence and torque. Other times there are lighter, more ethereal sounds to be heard … It's bracing, it's healthy, and the quartet plays with edgy brio and subtlety combined." [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards 

LE SON DU GRISLI
"C’est déjà surprenant, si ce n’est pas encore totalement abouti." [FULL ARTICLE]
Hector Cabrero 

KATHODIK “[V]ery intense.” **** —Philip Fiery

MONSIEUR DELIRE “Heavy delivers a highly enjoyable and rather varied listen. Accessible music with lots of surprises.” —Francois Couture

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE “[A] very impressive, and very fun, album … There’s not a thing on Heavy that doesn’t deserve to be heard several times.” —Michelle Dulak Thomson

LUCID CULTURE “[T]he moods evoked here run the gamut from raw, unleashed menace to playful and fun … [Julia] Wolfe’s work takes your breath away – it might be the most viscerally intense piece of music released this year in any style of music … [A] rich and rewarding mix that ought to appeal to rock fans as well as those with a taste for more challenging sonics.”

THE PULSE “Julia Wolfe’s 1993 composition ‘Early that summer’ [is[ a 12-minute bundle of nerves and spark-spitting, projecting power not with blunt force but with a mood-arresting tension. Most rock music probably wishes it was this intense.” —Ernie Paik