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Classical Music Review
As the title of this album suggests, An Arc of Quartets gives listeners access to a continuum of composer Michael G. Cunningham’s string music. Five international string ensembles present the album’s seven compositions, including Sirius Quartet from New York; The Moravian Quartet from the Czech Republic; the Millennium Quartet from Florida; and The Pedroia Quartet and New England String Quartet, both from Massachusetts. These groups’ performances of Cunningham’s work present the hallmarks of his style of string writing, which is defined by a focus on rhythm, melody, and texture, as well as his gentle, yet often dissonant, harmonic language...
Personally, this isn't my thing. I'm a lover of classical music that lifts the spirit or touches the soul - the more melancholic the better. While Michael G. Cunningham is a genius I spent the majority of the time wincing or wanting to cover my ears while listening to this.
This is more an experiment, or exploration, in using instruments as an art. It's an interesting idea and one that is becoming more common place, but it's also a subgenre that will deeply divide the fans of classical music.
It's also one of the reasons I'm not a fan of freeform jazz. While I understand and appreciate the merits of the art on display, I don't find it a rewarding experience. If I'm listening to classical music I want to be transported to another world, not forced to walk to another room to get away from the noise.
While it did nothing for me, if you're a fan of the exploration of classical music as an art form, there's lots to champion here.