Dedicated to performing cutting-edge, up-to-the-minute music, the supremely cool, New York based JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe) and "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times). The Quartet made its Wigmore Hall debut in July 2011 in a concert exploring new sounds and musical languages. With an exciting programme of Ligeti, Pintscher, Cage and Xenakis, this recording presents new ways of conceiving the relationship of four string players in a genre which has for over 250 years shown itself remarkably able to support innovation as well as tradition.
“in the expert hands of the JACK Quartet the [Cage] progresses with rhythmic certainty and a sense of affection, especially in the modally inflected outer movements...There's all the abandon of a live performance on this recording, and yet the sound is deep and detailed.”
“they play with beautifully choreographed physicality that's punch-drunk with its own vitality. This is the finest Tetras on record since - no coincidence - the JACK's last recording of the piece as part of their complete Xenakis string quartet cycle on Mode. No other quartet quite gets off on Xenakis like the JACKs...the all-encompassing scope and ambition of this disc is winsome.”
25th October 2012
“A real showcase for the talents of the JACK Quartet.”
1st July 2012
“This disc preserves the hall debut of an American quartet devoted to modernism. They give a brilliant account of one of the best post-war quartets, Gyorgy Ligeti’s Second, but seem equally at home with its faux-naif antitype, the flat-toned String Quartet by John Cage.”
The Arts Desk
8th September 2012
“Thrilling stuff – [the Xenakis is] loud, abrasive, and full of sounds which you’d struggle to identify as coming from stringed instruments. Here, the sonic shocks never sound like anything less than music – you can’t imagine the work ever blasting out with such force and swagger. Immaculate performances, captured on the wing in detailed, close up sound.”
23rd June 2012
“New York's JACK Quartet perform with fire and ice on this programme of modernist pieces, operating at the furthest extremes of the dynamic range...[The Ligeti's] startling progress – like handling an unstable isotope – seems perfectly suited to the JACK Quartet's visceral, pyrotechnic virtuosity.”
9th July 2012
“Xenakis's stunning Tetras shows what a major figure he was. It grabs you by the scruff of the neck and plunges you into fierce glissandi, moaning textures, and then reinvents the major scale...Superbly committed playing throughout.”
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