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China’s first avant-garde composer and one of the most original composers of his generation, Ge Gan-Ru, studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music before obtaining his doctorate from Columbia University in the USA.
The composer notes that he ‘often tries to combine contemporary Western compositional techniques with my Chinese experience and Chinese musical characteristics to create a unique and highly individual sound world.’
ModernWorks was founded in 1997 in New York by cellist Madeleine Shapiro to focus on recent string repertoire. The ensemble has given premières of works by Berio, Gubaidulina and Xenakis.
Gan-Ru Ge: String Quartet No. 5, "Fall of Baghdad"
I. Abyss: Screaming - Living Hell - Barbaric March - Abyss - Threnody
II. Music From Heaven: Pilgrimage - Bazaar - Caliph's Drum - Music from Heaven
III. Desolation: Desolation - Weeping - Moaning - Keening
“The New York-based quartet Modern Works don't hold back on the physicality of attack required but this is a highly-nuanced performance too: a deep melancholy pervades the genteel chorale that briefly ends an otherwise shell-shocked opening section.”