Daniel Asia: Trilogy

Woodwind Quintet
String Quartet No.2* (1985) featuring the Cypress String Quartet
Brass Quintet

Daniel Asia (b. 1953) is a leading member of that talented post-World War II generation of American composers that includes Danielpour, Kernis, Schwantner, and Tower—among many others—who helped turn the tide of stylistic syntax away from the predominant serialist academicism of the 60s and 70s. The Second String Quartet of 1985 shows us Asia writing the kind of freely modified 12-note music one would expect from a pupil of Druckman and Schuller. But already one can sense in this serious and ambitious almost half-hour work an underlying urge to break free of the confines of ideological allegiances, as the movement headings "Cantabile; free and flowing—crisp and energetic" and "Majestic—dancing–majestic" would indicate. This score exhibits the same distinctive traits that would characterize his later and more tonally oriented works: a natural and unfettered thematic fertility coupled with a noticeable economy of content and coherence of form. All three ensembles provide beautifully judged and dynamically shaped readings with a top-drawer acoustic from Summit. All in all, this turns out to be one of the premier releases of American chamber music of 2004.

Read more about Daniel Asia and the music on this recording here.

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  • 1. Woodwind Quintet - I. Lively 2:15
  • 2. Woodwind Quintet - II. Moderately 2:34
  • 3. Woodwind Quintet - III. Fiery 2:03
  • 4. Woodwind Quintet - IV. Ruminative 3:43
  • 5. Woodwind Quintet - V. Impetous, darting 1:55
  • 6. Woodwind Quintet - VI. Fast And mercurial 1:50
  • 7. String Quartet No. 2 - I. Cantabile; free and flowing-crisp & energetic - presto 9:25
  • 8. String Quartet No. 2 - II. Moderato - free - moderato 7:01
  • 9. String Quartet No. 2 - III. Majestic - Dancing - majestic 6:30
  • Asia 2-4 10. String Quartet No. 2 - IV. Presto possible 3:36
  • 11. Brass Quintet - I. Moderato 5:55
  • 12. Brass Quintet - II. Tranquil and elegiac 7:40
  • 13. Brass Quintet - III. Fast and lively 4:25
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