Turtle Island String Quartet with the Ying Quartet: 4 + Four (2005)
The straight "classical" piece is Darius Milaud's "La Creation Du Monde," as arranged by Danny Seidenberg. The pop music entry is the Beatles' "Because." Both pieces are performed respectfully, with great insight and internal harmonic knowledge. Oliver Nelson's brilliant "Yearnin'" is played with great soul and a smile. These songs demonstrate both the depth and breath of the two quartets' vision and capability.
Perhaps most provocative piece is entitled "Variations on an Unoriginal Theme," both for its ironic title and clever educational value. This composition uses an original theme with seven variations that include references to Haydn, Celtic dance, a Tchaikovsky scherzo, an Aaron Copland hoedown recapitulation morphing into a Negro gospel romp, Bernard Hermann and Phillip Glass, big band swing with a hint of Le Hot Club du France, a Ravel/Debussy love-child, and a summit between Horace Silver and James Brown. This is just plain fun, with an educational twist to boot.
Track Listing: Yearnin'; Julie-0; Mora's Garden of False Delights (three-part suite); La Creation Du Monde; Variations on an Unoriginal Theme; Because.
Personnel: Turtle Island String Quartet: David Bakakrishnan - violin; Evan Price - violin; Mads Tolling - viola; Mark Summer - cello; Ying Quartet: Timothy Ying - violin; Janet Ying - violin; Phillip Ying -- viola David Ying -- cello
Record Label: Telarc Records