Chiara String Quartet - Robert Sirota: Triptych
Chiara String Quartet - Robert Sirota: Triptych
Chiara String Quartet - Triptych-Robert Sirota (CD NEW)
Label: Cd Baby.Com/Indys
Release Date: 28 Dec 2004
No. of Discs: 1
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Triptych is a powerful new classical composition that memorializes the victims of September 11, 2001. Robert Sirota's breathtaking music is paired with Deborah Patterson's stunning paintings (included in the fold-out CD case). The performance, by the Chiara String Quartet, is a world premiere, and hauntingly emotional. The Chiara String Quartet is Rebecca Fischer, violin Julie Yoon, violin Jonah Sirota, viola Greg Beaver, cello From the CD liner notes: Triptych was written to commemorate the victims of September 11, 2001. It had an emotional first performance by the Chiara String Quartet on September 26, 2002, at Trinity Church on Wall Street, one of the churches on the periphery of Ground Zero. The musical composition was created in tandem with a painting of the same name by Deborah Patterson; the three names of the panels bear the same subtitles as the movements of the piece: Desecration, Lamentation, and Prayer. While there was no overt attempt between Deborah and myself to carefully align the music and the painting, they are intended to have a reinforcing effect on each other. The first movement is an explicit evocation of an horrific event. I imagine that when the towers came down, every car alarm in lower Manhattan went off simultaneously, so I have incorporated those sounds into the end of the movement. The second and third movements are a kind of meditation on the tragedy, first a grieving and then a consolation. In the painting, the center panel shows the body of Father Mychal Judge, a chaplain for the FDNY, and one of the first victims of the disaster, being carried by a group of firefighters. This realistic depiction of an actual event is flanked by two more abstract panels. The panel on the left shows the smoke and dust of the towers collapsing; the panel on the right is a kind of reverse image as light ascends to heaven. Just as Deborah layers paints and colors, I try to layer sound in techniques similar to the painter's use of sfumato and chiaroscuro. New Voice singles Triptych received rave reviews from Fanfare and American Record Guide. Raymond Tuttle of Fanfare writes in the November/December 2005 issue of Fanfare: 'Creative artists of every type couldn't help being affected by the events of September 11, 2001. Bad news doesn't always make good music, however. Several works of classical music indirectly or directly related to that day's tragedies come to mind: frankly, some smell a little of opportunism. To me, the most moving post-9/11 music, regardless of genre, was made a little more than a week later, when the unclassifiable but always perceptive Laurie Anderson performed at Town Hall in New York City (Nonesuch 79681-2). Robert Sirota's Triptych, unlike the music that Anderson performed at that venue, is explicitly related to 9/11. Sirota has avoided gimmickry and sensationalism, however, and there's a sincerity to this string quartet that will give it more staying power, I predict, than works such as John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls. 'As Sirota was writing his quartet in 2001-2002, artist Deborah Patterson was working on a three-paneled painting by the same name. In Sirota's own words, 'While there was no overt attempt between Deborah and myself to carefully align the music and the painting, they are intended to have a reinforcing effect on each other.' The painting is reproduced on the inside of the CD's packaging. The titles of the painting's three panels, 'Desecration,' 'Lamentation,' and 'Prayer' are the same as those of the quartet's three movements. ''Desecration' depicts the fall of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. When I read that, at the end of the movement, Sirota incorporated the sounds (imitated by the musicians, not actual) or car alarms going off all over lower Manhattan, I feared the worst. Fortunately, the composer has handled this tastefully. In fact, I was reminded of Shostakovitch's imitation of air raid sirens in his String Quartet No. 8. The grim and mournful tone of 'Lamentation' is followed by the more consolatory 'Prayer.' Sirota's language, while modern,
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