℗ ℗ 2019 Sono Luminus
 

The Kernis Project: Debussy

Jasper String Quartet

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String Quartet No. 3 “River”  
1
I. Source
Aaron Jay Kernis; Jasper String Quartet
8:29
2
II. Flow/Surge
Aaron Jay Kernis; Jasper String Quartet
4:06
3
III. Mirrored Surface - Flux - Reflections
Aaron Jay Kernis; Jasper String Quartet
10:55
4
IV. Cavatina
Aaron Jay Kernis; Jasper String Quartet
4:39
5
V. Mouth/Estuary
Aaron Jay Kernis; Jasper String Quartet
9:11
String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10, L. 85  
6
I. Animé et très décidé
Claude Debussy; Jasper String Quartet
6:40
7
II. Assez vif et bien rythmé
Claude Debussy; Jasper String Quartet
3:57
8
III. Andantino, doucement expressif
Claude Debussy; Jasper String Quartet
7:11
9
IV. Très modéré
Claude Debussy; Jasper String Quartet
7:25
Digital Booklet
Total Playing Time    62:33
This album marks the culmination of our decade-long journey with Aaron Jay Kernis’ music for string quartet. From the moment we put bow to string for Aaron’s Second Quartet, we realized his special voice and our connection to his music’s ability to capture both the complexity of the world and the simplicity of a moment. This depth fascinated us, inspired our playing and prompted us to dream of commissioning Aaron’s 3rd Quartet.

Six years later, after performing and recording his first two Quartets and organizing the commission, we received the first movement of his Third Quartet “River”. As the movements accumulated in our inbox, so did our sense of excitement and dread. It was clear that this piece surpassed its two preceding quartets in complexity and difficulty. The route forward was clear enough, but still daunting. Practice, rehearse, repeat. Through the spring and into the summer the piece started to take shape. Coalescing first a little at a time - glimmers of cleverness, brilliance, atmosphere amid the musical and technical challenges. As those moments grew to sections and then movements that began to make sense, we started to build them into the larger arc.

The quartet is subtitled “River”, an analogy for the constancy of change in our lives. The music too is constantly evolving, from moment to moment never predictable, never repeating itself. The flow of ideas isn’t one but four-dimensional, swirling constantly backward and forward in time and space. Yet there is a calculation of purpose, a consideration of form and care to structure that keeps the music grounded and allows a story to build out of the organic chaos.

The parallels between this music and Debussy’s iconic quartet are both coincidental and foreseeable. Programmed together before we knew anything of what Kernis’ quartet would be, the Debussy was nevertheless a perfect fit. Perhaps any quartet so carefully crafted and so imaginative would have illuminated parallels with Aaron’s new piece, yet it seems the two works share a specific ethos in their style and execution - both sharply bold and thoughtfully humble.
352.8 kHz / 24-bit, 192 kHz / 24-bit, 96 kHz / 24-bit PCM and 5.6448 MHz, 2.8224 MHz DSD – Sono Luminus Studio Masters

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