Delights and Dances [CD]

Composer: Abels, Michael

  • 90180140


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Cedille Records
Delights & Dances
Harlem Quartet
Chicago Sinfonietta
Mei-Ann Chen, conductor

1. Michael Abels Delights & Dances for String Quartet and String Orchestra (13:03)*

Benjamin Lees Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (20:49)
2. I. Allegro con brio (7:42)
3. II. Andante cantando (7:32)
4. III. Allegro energico (5:28)
5. An-Lun Huang “Saibei Dance” from Saibei Suite No. 2 (4:08)

Leonard Bernstein arr. Randall Craig Fleischer West Side Story Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (25:47)*
6. Mambo (2:06)
7. Cha Cha (2:02)
8. Maria (2:32)
9. Tonight (3:17)
10. Cadenza (4:44)
11. Prologue (2:42)
12. America (2:56)
13. Quintet (3:18)
14. Cadenza 2 (0:59)
15. Finale (1:07)

*World Premiere Recording

Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta’s first recording with its new music director, award-winning conductor Mei-Ann Chen, does what this singular ensemble does best: it captivates listeners of all ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds through irresistible music and superb musicianship. On Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta, a standard-bearer for racial diversity in the orchestral world, works its magic through a one-of-kind program featuring music for string quartet and orchestra, with guest artist, the Harlem Quartet.

The album takes its title from Michael Abels’ witty, soulful, and infectiously rhythmic Delights & Dances, which receives its world premiere recording. The greatly admired contemporary African-American composer wrote the work for the Harlem Quartet, an ensemble of first-place laureates of the Sphinx Competition for outstanding young black and Latino string players. A New York Times review of the work’s 2007 premiere, presented at Carnegie Hall, described the piece as “an energetic arrangement . . . which incorporates jazz, blues, bluegrass and Latin dance elements” — and which the Harlem Quartet “played with panache.”

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