New York, NY – On July 19, 2019, Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux and the Escher Quartet release Dance on Azica Records. The album captures three quintets they have performed extensively around the U.S. and abroad: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Guitar Quintet, Op. 143; Aaron Jay Kernis’ 100 Greatest Dance Hits; and Luigi Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet No. 4, “Fandango.” Dance was produced and edited by Alan Bise, engineered and mastered by Bruce Egre, and recorded at Sauder Hall, Goshen College.
Dance is available for pre-order here.
“When we first played with Jason Vieaux over 10 years ago, we immediately realized what a special connection we had with him,” says violinist Adam Barnett-Hart. “These works are three of our favorite quintets because they are high-energy and demanding for the performers, but also extremely fun and exciting for audiences. After performing them with Jason so many times over the years, we are thrilled to see our interpretations realized in a more permanent form.”
Vieaux echoes, “We’ve always had such a great time playing and hanging out together, and they are truly one of the finest quartets around. I had wanted to perform the Aaron Jay Kernis quintet for a long time, but it takes an ensemble of musicians that have a high-level rhythmic sense and execution in order to play it well. We’re delighted to present this performance on our new record.”
100 Greatest Dance Hits (1993) represents the lighter side of Kernis' musical personality. He originally intended the quintet to reflect early 1990s popular styles, but found himself drawn more to the sounds of the 1970s. He explains, "I borrowed the title from those old K-Tel advertisements on late night TV for 100 Greatest Motown Hits or 100 Greatest Soul Hits." Each of the four movements embraces – or pokes affectionate fun at – a different musical genre.
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco composed his Guitar Quintet at the request of long-time friend and great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. Segovia was asked to participate in a Los Angeles Music Guild chamber music concert and acquiesced only on the condition that Castelnuovo-Tedesco compose a new work to enrich the contemporary guitar chamber music literature. Segovia premiered the quintet in 1951 with the Paganini Quartet, and it has become a mainstay of the repertoire.
While many of his symphonies survive, Luigi Boccherini made his impact primarily in the realm of chamber music and composed an enormous amount for guitar. What makes his Guitar Quintet No. 4 memorable is its finale, which consists of a dramatic slow introduction that leads to a Fandango, the Spanish dance in moderately fast triple meter that first appeared in the 18th century.
Dance | Azica Records | Release Date: July 19, 2019
Jason Vieaux, guitar
Escher Quartet: Adam Barnett-Hart, violin; Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Brook Speltz, cello
[1-4] Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Guitar Quintet, Op. 143 | 22:36
1. I. Allegro, vivo e schietto 5:55
2. II. Andante mesto 6:03
3. III. Scherzo: Allegro con spirit, alla Marcia 4:33
4. IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco 6:05
[5-8] Aaron Jay Kernis: 100 Greatest Dance Hits | 15:30
5. I. Introduction to the Dance Party 1:52
6. II. Salsa Pasada 3:23
7. III. MOR Easy Listening Slow Dance Ballad 6:46
8. IV. Dance Party on the Disco Motorboat 3:29
[9-12] Luigi Boccherini: Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D Major | 18:52
9. I. Pastoral 4:52
10. II. Allegro maestoso 6:50
11. III. Grave Assai 1:32
12. IV. Fandango 5:38