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24.4.12

Daedalus Surveys Lerdahl

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Charles T. Downey, Daedalus Quartet performs Lerdahl cycle at the Phillips Collection
Washington Post, April 24, 2012

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F. Lerdahl, String Quartets,
Daedalus Quartet

(released on November 1, 2011)
[Excerpt]

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F. Lerdahl, Tonal Pitch Space
Always a bridesmaid, never the bride — Fred Lerdahl has had three compositions chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in music, but he has never won. In 2010, the nod went to the American composer’s third string quartet, rounding out a string quartet cycle that received its world premiere, as a complete set, at the Phillips Collection on Sunday afternoon. The group that played it, the Daedalus Quartet, released a recording of the cycle last fall, on the Bridge Records label.

Well, half of its members did, that is. Since making that recording, this rising quartet has taken on a new second violinist and cellist. Lerdahl’s complicated style, mathematical in form and extremely virtuosic in its demands, is not something one would expect new members to pick up quickly. Indeed, second violinist Matilda Kaul, who has a background in historically informed performance ensembles, sounded a little tentative. The ensemble did not seem quite as tight, in spite of some bravura individual playing. [Continue reading]
Fred Lerdahl, String Quartets
No. 1 (1978, rev. 2008) | No. 2 (1982, rev. 2008) | No. 3 (2008, rev. 2010)
Daedalus Quartet
Phillips Collection

SEE ALSO:
- Fred Lerdahl, 2011 lecture at Rice University
- Review of New York premiere of No. 3
- The Daedalus Quartet Gets Architectural with Fred Lerdahl (WQXR, January 28)
- Phillip Scott, Music and Theory: An Interview with Fred Lerdahl (Fanfare, October 23, 2011)

PREVIOUSLY (Daedalus Quartet):
2010 (Barns, Wolf Trap)
2006 (Corcoran Gallery of Art)
2005 (Library of Congress)

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