Four Four Three: Music of Terry Riley | Channel Classics CCS37816

Four Four Three: Music of Terry Riley


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Label: Channel Classics

Cat No: CCS37816

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 24th June 2016



Ragazze Quartet
Slagwerk Den Haag


Riley, Terry

In C
Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector


Ragazze Quartet
Slagwerk Den Haag


The Ragazze Quartet with its classical roots, Slagwerk Den Haag with the sounds of today, and the idiosyncratic jazz trio Kapok...

Contrasting contours, but a common denominator: none of our three ensembles belong to a specific category. All three push the boundaries of our genres in our quest for new forms and adventurous joint projects. It is through this inquisitive musicianship that the unusual combination feels so wonderfully natural.

The choice for Riley’s repertoire gave another stir to our boundary reconnoitre. For Riley’s music allows considerable space for creativity and improvisation. The tension that arises through freedom within strict frames means that every performance is different. And it brings with it that the music has a strong sense of spontaneity and joie de vivre.

In In C, performed by the Ragazze Quartet and Slagwerk Den Haag, the dynamic range is enormous. Long, melodic lines as well as short, rhythmic motifs may be employed, producing an effect of both tranquil contemplation and pulsating explosiveness.

Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector was originally written for string quartet. But the Ragazze Quartet invited jazz trio Kapok to make a new arrangement together.The mix of string quartet and horn, electric guitar and percussion, all expanded with electronic effects, offers a rich pallet of timbres. All this goes to bring the groovy rhythm and whimsical, improvisatory character of the music further to the fore.

In this way the combination of different ensembles forms the basis for our own unique version of Terry Riley’s In C and Sunrise. A version you have probably never heard before and will not hear anywhere else.


Terry Riley’s proto-minimalist classic In C is ordinarily launched via a punched out high-C pulse on a keyboard, a rallying cry around which instrumentalists begin the serious business of feeling, and indeed thinking, their way through Riley’s mosaic of 53 melodic fragments. But this performance by the combined forces of the Ragazze String Quartet and percussion group Slagwerk Den Haag offers a radical alternative – the pulse is discreetly shunted towards the background, utterly charming the senses with an often delicate mechanism of light pizzicato strings and mallet percussion.  Philip Clark
Gramophone August 2016
This latest, Dutch version [of In C] clocks in at 40 minutes and combines a chipper-sounding string quartet with percussion ensemble, taking the music into a cheesy kind of party groove after a polite start. It’s fun and breezy, if not a whole lot more. The disc also contains a dubiously “jazzy” take on Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector, originally for string quartet, here with added horn, electronics and percussion.  Kate Molleson
The Guardian 1 July 2016
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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