[ Nonesuch / 2 LP ]
Release Date: Tuesday 8 September 2020
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw's Orange, performed by Attacca Quartet, is out now on New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records. Orange, which features six of Shaw's pieces for string quartet, is the first full-length album to exclusively feature works by Shaw. It is also the first release in a new partnership between the two record labels, established with the goal of enabling contemporary American composers to realize creative ambitions that might not otherwise be achievable. "Completely gorgeous in so many ways," exclaims BBC Radio 3. "It hits you everywhere, all at once." "A love letter to the string quartet," says NPR. "[W]hen you hear all the imaginative sounds on Orange, you know you're listening to the voice of a strong composer." "[T]he pieces on Orange shoot off in thrilling and unpredictable directions," says Pitchfork's 8.0 review. "The music of Orange exudes joy and a sense of wildness."
'Think string quartet music is just a fusty classical formula? Orange proves it is spectacularly alive and evolving.' - NPR
'The music of Orange exudes joy and a sense of wildness.' - Pitchfork
'Shaw's attitude to tonality, and her inventive mastery of string sonorities make these pieces genuinely original additions to the quartet repertory.' - Guardian
'Orange displays Shaw's flair and individuality, matching material and form without cliché or facile artifice. Her music is beautifully crafted and graceful.' - The Wire
'Orange's beauty lies in timelessness, restraint.' - Mojo * * * *
'Unlike much contemporary music, Shaw's compositions exemplify what Simon Rattle long ago said about John Adams's essence - that there's always the sense of 'moving in space.' Here it may be simply to examine the same object from different angles, as in the varied simplicities of Plan and Elevation (The Grounds of Dumbarton Oaks, ending in the glory of a beech (only Sibelius in his late piano suite and Strauss in the metamorphosis of Daphne seem to me to have composed comparable tree-music). The sophistication and dynamic refinement of the Attacca Quartet is reflected in a full, truthful recording.'
- BBC Music Magazine * * * * *
'Orange marks the first release in a new partnership between the Nonesuch and New Amsterdam labels, and if this disc is anything to go by, prospects for a rewarding and fruitful collaboration are promising. Attacca Quartet are brilliant throughout. Orange readily draws on natural metaphors associated with fruits, gardens and landscapes, thus emphasising the music's organic qualities. The overriding image one gains is that of the composer as honeybee, flitting from one flower to the next, hiving musical nectar to make sounds most strange and sweet.'