Jeremy Gill, Chamber Music, Parker String Quartet et al. (Albany Records, 2008)
In all of their performances, the Parker Quartet has played pieces from all periods with admirable grace, but none seems more in their wheelhouse than contemporary music. The group has collaborated for some time with American composer Jeremy Gill (b. 1975, Harrisburg, Pa.), and they have been touring with his new, hour-long string quartet, Capriccio (2012), which was commissioned by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program and premiered by them last March. The work is episodic by its nature, a series of 27 movements in two large parts, and hard to classify: capriccio, after all, usually signifies a series of unrelated ideas that come into the composer's mind by chance. It is held together, Gill hopes, by the technical idea that underlies it, each movement being an exploration of one aspect of the production of sound on string instruments and, by extension, of the meaning of music -- the composer himself described it as "a deconstructed Caesar salad." Many of the movements are engaging and finely crafted, although it is hard to say that there is enough of an overarching idea that binds it into one work that compels a complete listening. String quartets could just as easily take movements from it to play as encores, which indeed the Parker Quartet has also reportedly done.
Joan Reinthaler, Parker Quartet meets the challenge of Jeremy Gill’s music in Strathmore performance (Washington Post, April 2)
Emily Reese, The Parker Quartet perform at Classical MPR and discuss their upcoming concert (Minnesota Public Radio, March 7, 2013)