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Metamorphosis

Joan Jeanrenaud

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Album Review

Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud's first solo album since leaving her 20-year gig with the celebrated Kronos Quartet finds her exploring areas that aren't exactly a huge departure from the type of edgy modern music she played with her old group, but it does show what she can do when given her own space to work with. The results are impressive. Most of the compositions are for solo cello with looped cello parts captured digitally or on tape, while one is written for cello and computer-generated sounds and another for cello and "electronics." The composers are a combination of names familiar (Steve Mackey, Philip Glass, Hamza el Din) and new (Mark Grey, Jeanrenaud herself), and while the pieces aren't all equally interesting there are several works of stunning beauty here. One of the most engaging is el Din's "Escalay + 17:10," with its looped Egyptian melodies, and another is Jeanrenaud's own "Altar Piece," which makes extensive use of electronic tone alteration and layering, and on which she exercises masterful control of whispery artificial harmonics. But the album's highlight is a piece by Karen Tanaka entitled "Song of Songs." Inspired by the Old Testament book of the same name, which is essentially an extended love song, Tanaka builds a sweet, simple, and beautifully textured work out of cello and computer-generated sounds. As always, Jeanrenaud's playing is virtuosic but never showy. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 1956 in United States

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Even though Joan Jeanrenaud's name may not sound all that familiar, she is a world-renowned cellist, surely the best known in the avant-garde classical field. But for many music lovers, she remains "the girl in Kronos Quartet." Jeanrenaud spent 20 years with the groundbreaking string quartet, recording with it over 30 albums and performing more than 2,000 concerts....
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Metamorphosis, Joan Jeanrenaud
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2002

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