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Solem Quartet|The Four Quarters

The Four Quarters

Solem Quartet

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The Solem Quartet is no stranger to the classical and contemporary music world. As winners of the Jerwood Arts Live Work Fund 2020, they are one of the UK's most significant artistic voices. In addition, the ensemble stands out for its musical diversity and openness due to its involvement in innovative projects as well as collaborations with artists from different genres. Now the four musicians from England release their long-awaited debut album, The Four Quarters on Orchid Classics: a musical, transcendent journey influenced by composers from the Baroque period to the present. 


Despite such a diverse selection of compositions, one piece stands out as spanning the entire album: Thomas Ades' masterpiece The Four Quarters. The four movements meander through the enormous range of recordings and appear between arrangements by Henry Purcell, Florence Price, Béla Bartók and Robert Schumann. Ades' composition is based on the cycle of the day as a central metaphor - a ramble from the early hours of the morning to the depths of the night. The juxtaposition of time and space, earth and sky is also reflected in the music. In the first movement, 'Nightfalls', the violins sound fine overtones in regular patterns, the viola and cello play the deep harmony far below and thus remain grounded. 


Another highlight of the album is certainly the interpretation of Aaron Parker's 'easqelä'. It is the fourth movement of the five-part work 'Tuoretu', which was composed specifically for the Solem Quartet. The name was invented freely and refers to the eternal expanses of eastern England as well as the fading colours of the sunset, which, just like the sounds, merge boundlessly into one another. The melancholic, haunting viola solo, underpinned by the dim fifth and fourth parallels of the other strings, reinforces the ever-present transcendence and once again draws out the fundamental elements of the album: closeness to nature, dreamscapes and timelessness. And even though it is the penultimate track on the record, the end of the musical dream journey is far from in sight...


With The Four Quarters, the Solem Quartet releases a unique and highly inspiring album that sets its own timeless anchor between contemporary art and traditional sounds. © Lena Germann/Qobuz

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The Four Quarters

Solem Quartet

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The Four Quarters (Thomas Adès)

1
I. Nightfalls
Solem Quartet
00:06:22

Thomas Ades, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

5 Elizabethan Songs (Ivor Gurney)

2
No. 5, Sleep (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet)
Solem Quartet
00:03:53

Ivor Gurney, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Warblework (Cassandra Miller)

3
III. Hermit Thrush
Solem Quartet
00:04:21

William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Cassandra Miller, Composer - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Ca' the Yowes (Arr. S. Tress for String Quartet)

4
Ca' the Yowes (Arr. S. Tress for String Quartet)
Stephanie Tress
00:02:20

William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist, MainArtist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

The Four Quarters (Thomas Adès)

5
II. Serenade, Morning Dew
Solem Quartet
00:03:18

Thomas Ades, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Now Does the Glorious Day Appear, Z. 332 (Arr. Amy Tress for String Quartet) (Henry Purcell)

6
Now Does the Glorious Day Appear, Z. 332 (Arr. Amy Tress for String Quartet)
Solem Quartet
00:03:26

Henry Purcell, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Be Nice to See You (William Marsey)

7
Be Nice to See You
William Marsey
00:07:46

William Newell, Artist - William Marsey, Composer, Artist, MainArtist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Warblework (Cassandra Miller)

8
IV. Veery
Solem Quartet
00:04:53

William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Cassandra Miller, Composer - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

The Four Quarters (Thomas Adès)

9
III. Days
Solem Quartet
00:03:49

Thomas Ades, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Summer Moon (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet) (Florence Price)

10
Summer Moon (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet)
Solem Quartet
00:03:11

William Newell, Artist - Florence Price, Composer - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Evening in Transylvania, Sz. 39 No. 5 (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet) (Béla Bartók)

11
Evening in Transylvania, Sz. 39 No. 5 (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet)
Solem Quartet
00:02:59

Bela Bartok, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Child Falling Asleep, Op. 15 No. 12 (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet) (Robert Schumann)

12
Child Falling Asleep, Op. 15 No. 12 (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet)
Solem Quartet
00:02:09

Robert Schumann, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Tuoretu (Aaron Parker)

13
IV. Easqelä (Suspended, Spacious, in a Dusky Half Light)
Solem Quartet
00:04:32

William Newell, Artist - Aaron Parker, Composer - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

The Four Quarters (Thomas Adès)

14
IV. The Twenty-Fifth Hour
Solem Quartet
00:04:00

Thomas Ades, Composer - William Newell, Artist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

And Dream of Sheep (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet) (Kate Bush)

15
And Dream of Sheep (Arr. W. Newell for String Quartet)
William Newell
00:04:23

Kate Bush, Composer - William Newell, Artist, MainArtist - Stephanie Tress, Artist - The Solem Quartet, Artist, MainArtist - Amy Tress, Artist - Stephen Upshaw, Artist

(C) 2021 Orchid Classics (P) 2021 Orchid Classics

Album Description

The Solem Quartet is no stranger to the classical and contemporary music world. As winners of the Jerwood Arts Live Work Fund 2020, they are one of the UK's most significant artistic voices. In addition, the ensemble stands out for its musical diversity and openness due to its involvement in innovative projects as well as collaborations with artists from different genres. Now the four musicians from England release their long-awaited debut album, The Four Quarters on Orchid Classics: a musical, transcendent journey influenced by composers from the Baroque period to the present. 


Despite such a diverse selection of compositions, one piece stands out as spanning the entire album: Thomas Ades' masterpiece The Four Quarters. The four movements meander through the enormous range of recordings and appear between arrangements by Henry Purcell, Florence Price, Béla Bartók and Robert Schumann. Ades' composition is based on the cycle of the day as a central metaphor - a ramble from the early hours of the morning to the depths of the night. The juxtaposition of time and space, earth and sky is also reflected in the music. In the first movement, 'Nightfalls', the violins sound fine overtones in regular patterns, the viola and cello play the deep harmony far below and thus remain grounded. 


Another highlight of the album is certainly the interpretation of Aaron Parker's 'easqelä'. It is the fourth movement of the five-part work 'Tuoretu', which was composed specifically for the Solem Quartet. The name was invented freely and refers to the eternal expanses of eastern England as well as the fading colours of the sunset, which, just like the sounds, merge boundlessly into one another. The melancholic, haunting viola solo, underpinned by the dim fifth and fourth parallels of the other strings, reinforces the ever-present transcendence and once again draws out the fundamental elements of the album: closeness to nature, dreamscapes and timelessness. And even though it is the penultimate track on the record, the end of the musical dream journey is far from in sight...


With The Four Quarters, the Solem Quartet releases a unique and highly inspiring album that sets its own timeless anchor between contemporary art and traditional sounds. © Lena Germann/Qobuz

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