The Quartet San Francisco A QSF Journey HDCD

The Quartet San Francisco

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TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in the March 2019 Issue of The Absolute Sound!

Mastered by Prof. Keith Johnson!
HDCD Encoded!

Founded in 2001 by violinist and composer Jeremy Cohen, Quartet San Francisco expresses itself in its agility and standout virtuosic playing. These crossover specialists excel in multiple styles, from jazz to tango, pop to funk, blues to bluegrass, gypsy swing to big band and beyond. On this new release they invite you to join in their journey into the chamber music of the 21st century.

The twelve tracks on the album include nine written or arranged by Cohen. Seven are world premieres, and another three are world premieres in string quartet form! These outstanding performances have been captured in natural, uncompromising audiophile sound by Reference Recordings’ own award-winning engineering team: Keith O. Johnson and Sean Royce Martin. A QSF Journey was recorded May 2018 at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California.

A QSF Journey is Quartet San Francisco’s first release on the Reference Recordings label. QSF’s last four releases (2013, 2009, 2007 and 2006) garnered three Grammy® nominations for Best Classical Crossover; three for Best Engineered Classical (Leslie Ann Jones and Judy Kirchner); and two for Best Instrumental Composition. In 2004 the group won the Argentine Consulate’s International Tango Competition in New York City.

For over 40 years, REFERENCE RECORDINGS has been one of the most innovative and respected independent labels in the music business. Reference Recordings releases have been highly praised for their dedication to high quality sound in the service of great music. Founder Tam Henderson (1998 Grammy® nominee for Producer of the Year), was joined in 1978 by engineer Keith O. Johnson. Some 140 projects and many Grammy® awards and nominations later, RR is still recording what many consider to be the finest-sounding classical, jazz and blues discs in the world.

"This group deserves commendation for bridging the gap between classical and popular music with much more grace and skill than many other groups attempting to do the same thing." - American Reords Guide

"There is real artistry here, not only in the playing (each member of the quartet is a first-class artist with wide experience in many types of music) but in the music itself, pieces with great integrity and sophistication. Whether the energetic Fiesta!, the luscious rhythmic jauntiness of Tango Eight, or the delicious vibrancy of the African folk song Jambo-to name just a few-this is indeed a journey worth taking for almost anyone who appreciates an exciting and worthy hour of engrossing music. Make sure you are one of them! Great sound silvered at Skywalker Sound in California." - Audiophile Audition

"While the album features arrangements of traditional folk songs (Chinese, Mongolian and African), many of the tracks are rooted in the tango tradition and, to some extent, American folk. Rhapsody in Bluegrass combines two vastly different works – Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and bluegrass tune Orange Blossom Special. The result is a lively, toe-tapping, buoyant tune. Frederico II, written by Italian cellist and composer Giovanni Sollima, is a whirlwind piece with a constantly pushing rhythmical drive and strong medieval roots. I really enjoyed Cohen's tango pieces as well – Al Colón, Francini, La Heroína and the opening Tango Eight – and their passionate, cheeky melodies. QSF members are true crossover stars. Their playing is effortless and entertaining, with just the right amount of classical touch, and with an abundance of beauty." - The Whole Note

"The album's arguable high point is 'Rhapsody in Bluegrass,' a Cohen-arranged mash-up that merges Gershwin's iconic work with the bluegrass classic 'Orange Blossom Special.' However unusual such a move might seem on paper, in practice its inspired coupling of those famous Gershwin melodies with hoedown fiddling oozes charm from start to finish, much like the album of which it's a part." - Ron Schepper, Textura

"A QSF Journey is an engaging and entertaining CD, which also sounds great, as do all Reference Recordings. It should please all lovers of string quartets." - Culture Spot LA

"TAS readers should note that this Keith Johnson recording is as fine a presentation of a string quartet as you'll hear. The balance between the instruments is impeccable, as is their clearly defined placement in space. There's plenty of air and 'bloom' around each player, and a fitting lightness (not thin, mind you) to the tonal balance, which perfectly suits the music. Play this HDCD... over a fine system, closer your eyes and they're "there"." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, March 2019

• HDCD/24-bit
• Mastered by Prof. Keith O. Johnson

The Quartet San Francisco:

Jeremy Cohen, violin
Joseph Christianson, violin
Chad Kaltinger, viola
Andres Vera, cello

1. Tango Eight
2. Fiesta!
3. Tango Carnevale
4. Francini
5. Rhapsody In Bluegrass
6. La Heroina
7. How Sweet The Sound
8. Federico II
9. Al Colon
10. Jasmine Flower / Beautiful Scenery Of Wuxi (Traditional Chinese Folk Songs, arr. Cohen)
11. Toroi Bandi (Mongolian Folk Song, arr. Cohen)
12. Jambo (Traditional African Folk Song, arr. Cohen)

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