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Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, September 2019

The Emerson, Juilliard, Guarneri, and many other quartets have recorded it [The Debussy] in authoritative performances; but the Jaspers bring a contemporary touch, emphasizing Debussy’s forward-looking colors and tensions rather than softer impressionist elements. The clarity and sharpness of their approach (matched by the lucid recording) is bracing. Listen to the startling sizzle and snap of the fast movement! The slow movement, where the Jaspers rethink every color, is also very special. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Guy Rickards
Gramophone, September 2019

The Jasper Quartet’s [Third Quartet] account is compelling.

For No 3, they move away from the Classical era for the coupling, Debussy’s enchanting early Quartet of 1893. It makes for nice contrast and the Jasper’s performances of both are flawless in ensemble and intonation, expressively assured and beautifully balanced. The sound quality is first-rate. © 2019 Gramophone



The Strad, September 2019

The soloistic bursts from cellist Rachel Henderson Freivogel echo moments in the outer movements of Kernis’s piece, and a spacious, warm recorded sound adds to the power of a thoroughly enjoyable disc. © 2019 The Strad



David Olds
The WholeNote, September 2019

The Kernis Project: Debussy (Sono Luminus DSL-92233 sono-luminus.squarespace.com) is the culmination of the Jasper String Quartet’s “decade-long journey with Aaron Jay Kernis’ music for string quartet… [during which] 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 the moment. © 2019 The WholeNote Read complete review



Textura, July 2019

The passion and conviction the Jasper String Quartet brings to both pieces is remarkable. Certainly it would be hard to imagine any other quartet bettering its performance of Kernis’s, so attuned is the quartet to the composer’s vision, and the reading of the Debussy quartet is as fine a match as could be imagined. … All four Jasper members must be credited for the powerful impression this exceptional recording makes. © 2019 Textura Read complete review



Records International, July 2019

Kernis’ 3rd Quartet is a large work—about 40 minutes—in a roughly symmetrical five-movement form. The subtitle ‘River’ stands for processes of flux and change, in the literary sources that influenced the composer while writing the work, and also in the musical processes at work, as well as to some extent some ‘flowing’, or ‘reflecting’ aquatic imagery. The piece is freely rhapsodic, in the composer’s customary brand of extended tonality, with harmonies chosen more for colour and organic flow than for formal relationships. The first movement is tough and dramatic, mirrored by the contrasting deep-flowing, richly sonorous last; the second movement is active, its mirror, lyrical; the central movement ‘Mirrored Surface—Flux—Reflections—is the longest, and epitomises the work’s message of change, with rapid, drastic and intense contrasts of character. © 2019 Records International



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), June 2019

This album marks the culmination of the Jasper String Quartet’s decade-long journey with Aaron Jay Kernis’s music for string quartet. The four players say, “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 Third Quartet.” That work is recorded here and programmed with Debussy’s iconic quartet. © 2019 WFMT (Chicago)



Rafael de Acha
Rafael’s Music Notes, June 2019

Kernis has written a challenging work that gives J. Freivogel, violin, Sae Chonabayashi, violin, Sam Quintal, viola, and Rachel Henderson Freivogel, cello, collectively known as the Jasper Quartet, a musical and technical workout.

The heavy lifting does not easy up with Debussy’s 18-minute composition but continues right up to its final movement with all four players extracting every bit of emotion in music marked by its composer to be played “increasingly faster and with passion.” © 2019 Rafael's Music Notes Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, May 2019

The Jasper Quartet uncovers a high level of lyric feeling without going Romantic in the end and so all the better. It sounds as a reading of our time and fits a nice space in the spectrum of possible contemporary performances.

In sum there is a great deal to digest, to explore, to learn from and to enjoy on this program. The Jasper Quartet is among the very best such groups working today and they bring us a sterling Kernis and a heartening Debussy. You cannot lose here in that there is so much good happening you are bound to be pleased I think. Give it an earful. © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Read complete review





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