"Stringsongs" is Meredith Monk's first string quartet. Written in 2005, the piece was premiered by the Kronos Quartet. Until now, surprisingly, no recording of this entire work has been available to the public. The "Meet the Composer" series from Q2/National Public Radio has made several programs about Meredith Monk, and this one is wonderful as it offers her String Quartet in a world-premiere recording/performance by members of "ACME" (American Contemporary Music Ensemble).
In the first few minutes of the program we hear Meredith speaking enthusiastically with the musicians as they prepare to play the work; a nice way I think to get ready to listen in, as it adds a bit of warmth and revealing humanity to the proceedings.
Meredith Monk had this to say about "Stringsongs":
"In Stringsongs, my first piece for string quartet, I explored using instruments to create unexpected textures and sounds in much the same way that I have worked with the voice over many years. I was inspired by the profound musicianship and passionate commitment of the Kronos Quartet. During the rehearsal period, as I got to know the players, the music came to life in surprising ways, colored by the distinctive "voice" of each musician".
|Members of ACME|
Thus far I am enjoying Meredith Monk's String Quartet; I have only listened to it 5 times so far but surely it's a trip well worth taking over and over again!