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String Quartet 8
Beauty and the Beast

Quatuor Molinari
Olga Ranzenhofer   violon 1 / First violin
Johannes Jansonius   violon 2 / second violin
David Quinn   alto / viola
Julie Trudeau   violoncelle / 'cello

Jennifer Swartz   harpe / harp
Marie-Danielle Parent   Soprano
Julie Nesrallah   mezzo-soprano

ACD2 2201

Juno Award
Juno ® Award

ATMA Classique recording wins a Juno® Award

We are proud to announce the winner of the 2004 Juno ® Award for Best Classical Composition of the Year has been awarded to R. Murray Schafer for his recording of String Quartet No.8 on the ATMA Classique label.

R. Murray Schafer
String Quartet No.8

Sarnia-born R. Murray Schafer is a genuine renaissance man, excelling as a composer, dramatist, music educator and journalist, and a pioneer in soundscape studies.   In 1987, he became the first recipient of the prestigious Glenn Gould Award.   In presenting it to Schafer, Yehudi Menuhin lauded him as “a strong, benevolent, and highly original imagination and intellect.”
A Note from the Composer

In our culture it is rare for a performing group to adopt a composer, as the Molinari Quartet did when Olga Ranzenhofer called me on the telephone to say: "We'd like to perform all your string quartets and we'd like you to write a new one for us."

Of course my quartets had been performed before, relatively frequently by the Orford Quartet before their retirement.   The Molinari proposal was to perform each of the six quartets separately and then combine them in a grand concert in Montreal in December 1999, at which time the Seventh Quartet would be premiered.

It was an exciting proposal, but it left me transiently flustered because I'd never heard of the Molinari Quartet.   But of course I was curious enough to go to Montreal to meet them.   Their enthusiasm for new music was immediately evident.   When I said I wanted the cellist to move around during the new quartet, Sylvie Lambert immediately went out and had someone make a harness for her instrument, leaving her free to play walking about or even dancing.

I have no idea how many hours were spent rehearsing all the quartets, but each was performed for me with stinging accuracy and abundant subtlety of expression.   The Montreal marathon concert really happened!   The audience was enthusiastic.   The press was generous.   The Seventh Quartet was well received.   Within weeks a patron approached me about writing an Eighth Quartet "for the Molinari."   I could go on happily writing a ninth, a tenth or a hundredth for this marvelous group of musicians.


R. Murray Schafer (1953 - )

Quatuor n° 8 II String Quartet No. 8       22:24
[ 1. ] Fast; capricious       9:53
[ 2. ] Very rhapsodic       12:31

[ 3. ] Theseus       19:03
pour harpe et quatuor a cordes 11 for harp and string quartet
Jennifer Swartz harpe / harp
Marie-Danielle Parent soprano

[ 4. ] Beauty and the Beast       31:21
Un opera pour voix seule, masques et quatuor a cordes, livret et musique de R. Murray Schafer d'apres Ie conte de Madame Leprince de Beaumont / An opera for solo voice, masks and string quartet, libretto and music by R. Murray Schafer after the story by Madame Leprince de Beaumont.
Julie Nesrallah mezzo-soprano

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