Title - 'Brahms: String Sextets, Live'
Artist - Cypress String Quartet
For those not in the classical know, the Cypress String Quartet are a professional classical chamber music ensemble founded in San Francisco, California in 1996.
Sadly though, the quartet - Cecily Ward, violin; Tom Stone, violin; Ethan Filner, viola; and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello - announced early in 2016 that they would be disbanding in the summer of that same year after 20 fulfilling years of performing together. Indeed, a Farewell Concert was presented by the Cypress at the Green Room of the War Memorial Building on June 26th, 2016.
As a culmination of the groupís work together, the Cypressís recording of the complete Beethoven String Quartets was released on AVIE Records in May 2016, but now - and heralding the Cypress's 20th anniversary as well as the group's valedictory season (2016), AVIE Records has brought out Brahms: String Sextets, Live Recording that couples the Cypress along with both Barry Shiffman (viola) and Zuill Bailey (cello).
With this final album, the Cypress completes its remarkable legacy in an innovative flourish, recording the two Brahms Sextets in both high-resolution digital and analogue formats, live before a studio audience at Skywalker Sound, where they shared the Scoring Stage with the aforementioned long-time friends and collaborators Barry Shiffman (viola) and Zuill Bailey (cello).
For me, it's Ms. Jennifer Kloetzel that stand out here, for not only being noted for her elegant playing throughout her career, it's the way she digs deep, exploring each and every musical curve as if it were to be her last chance to. Cellist Kloetzel has concertized throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and being a founding member of the Cypress String Quartet, she, along with her band of merry men, bring forth on 'Brahms: String Sextets, Live Recording a stunning take on Johannes Brahms's "String Quartet No. 1 in B Flat Op. 18" and "String Quartet No. 2 in G Op. 36".
[For fans that want to go deeper into this recording, the CD booklet includes original Program Notes by Jan Swafford.]