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Jonathan Leshnoff

Charles Wetherbee, violin 1
Amy Galluzzo, violin 2
Korine Fujiwara, viola
Carol Ou, cello

World Premiere Recordings



"The 4 Dances that open the program could have been written by Dvorak. The same might be said of the quartets... The slow music is tender and the fast music dancelike. All is securely tonal... Mr Leshnoff is blessed to have [the fine Carpe Diem String Quartet] championing his work."
Gimbel, American Record Guide [November/December 2020]
"This is satisfying music that blends sophistication with approachability; the Carpe Diem Quartet is a fervent advocate. Very strongly recommended. Five stars."
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [November/December 2020]
"The Carpe Diem Quartet plays brilliantly in all the works here, sounding as if its players understand this composer's music intimately... if accessible contemporary chamber music has appeal for you, you'll find this a quite rewarding disc."
Robert Cummings, MusicWeb International [August 2020]
"An intensity driven by harmonic lyricism marks the compositions of Jonathan Leshnoff... While many composers have abandoned the past to journey into uncharted realms of sound, Leshnoff clearly knows what made the music of the past great. He incorporates that awareness in creating music for today, as is very evident in this CD."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [July 2020]
"Leshnoff’s willingness to incorporate emotionally trenchant material into a modern but not avant-garde style makes this an attractive release for listeners who enjoy string-quartet music and would like to familiarize themselves with one way in which some of today’s American composers explore it."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [August 2020]
"The more I hear of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff, the more I like him... The members of [the Carpe Diem String Quartet respond] instinctively and with enthusiasm to Leshnoff’s delicious music... Keep your eye (and ear) open for more from Jonathan Leshnoff. There seems to be little he cannot do in the way of instrumental music and he certainly knows his craft. He may turn out to be the first great composer to emerge in the 21st Century."
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [July 2020]
"[Leshnoff is] a leader of contemporary American lyricism”
The New York Times
Grammy-nominated composer Jonathan Leshnoff is renowned for his music’s striking harmonies, structural complexity, and powerful themes. Ranked among the most performed living composers by American orchestras in recent seasons, the Baltimore-based composer’s works have been performed by more than 75 orchestras worldwide in hundreds of orchestral concerts. He has received recent commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, and Pittsburgh and his works have been premiered by classical music’s most celebrated artists, including Gil Shaham, Johannes Moser, Manuel Barrueco and Joyce Yang. Leshnoff is a Professor of Music at Towson University.
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One of the most unique and sought-after chamber ensembles on the concert stage today, the Carpe Diem String Quartet is a boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical acclaim. Carpe Diem defies easy classification with programming that includes classical, Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock and jazz-inspired music. The quartet appears on concert series at traditional venues, including Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, National Gallery of Art, Chautauqua Institute, Asolo Theater, Accademia Chigiana and Suntory Hall, as well as unconventional ones, including Poisson Rouge, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Half-Moon Bay, The Redlands Bowl and The Mug & Brush. Carpe Diem has been awarded six transformative grants from the PNC Foundation for their community outreach quartets of Sergei Taneyev (Naxos) as well as the complete string quartets of Jonathan Leshnoff. They have also released two CDs with singer-guitarist Willy Porter, Anansi and the Sky God with saxophonist John Gunther, the complete string quartets of Richard Jordan Smoot, Quintets Nos.1 and 2 for Mandolin and String Quartet by Jeff Midkiff and Bruce Wolosoff’s Songs without Words. Carpe Diem’s CD Montana, featuring music by composer and quartet member Korine Fujiwara, received widespread acclaim. The quartet seeks out, and is sought after by, artists from many different genres for collaboration, including bandoneón player Raul Juarena, klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, banjo virtuoso Jayme Stone, Celtic flautist Shannon Heaton, mandolinist Jeff Midkiff, Dixieland trumpeter Tom Battenberg, classical guitarist Nicolo Spera, Chinese pipa player Yihan Chen, Jazz Quartet the Whirly Birds, and a world master of the Persian santoor, Dariush Saghafi. Carpe Diem is dedicated to community engagement, and also to pushing the limits of the classical string quartet to change the concert experience of chamber music. Using innovative programming, thematic concerts, popular music, video-enhanced visual presentation and engagement with the audience from the stage, Carpe Diem is helping to bring new audiences to the concert hall.
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FOUR DANCES for String Quartet (2014)
I. Waltz
II. Pavane
III. Chas Tanz
IV. Furlana

I. Grave
II. Romance
III. Allegro with Spirit

I. Largo, molto rubato
II. Fast
III. Slow and pure
IV. Fast
V. Largo, rubato

Recorded 10-11 January 2016 [1-4] at Towson University Center for the Arts Recital Hall, Towson, Maryland; 20-21 August 2016 [5-7] at Grusin Music Hall, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; 22-23 May 2017 at Powell Methodist Church, Powell, Ohio [8-12].

MSR Classics
Chamber Music of REZA VALI CARPE DIEM …