8 Songs, 1 Hour, 16 Minutes

TITLE TIME
14:16
9:32
3:14
10:00
14:28
7:28
8:56
8:42

About Cypress String Quartet

Founded in 1996, the Cypress String Quartet became one of the most popular and innovative quartets on the U.S. West Coast, with a strong orientation toward contemporary music. The group disbanded in 2016.

The Cypress String Quartet gathered for the first time in the summer of 1996 and soon resolved to practice together for six to eight hours daily. The group's original members were violinists Cecily Ward and Tom Stone, violist Paul Wakabayashi, and cellist Jennifer Kloetzel; Wakabayashi was replaced by by Ethan Filner in 2001. At first, the members recalled, they would perform "at any venue that would hire the four of us," but their concert schedule grew to include some 100 concerts yearly, with tours to Mexico, major European countries, and Japan interspersed among U.S. performances.

The group's recorded catalog was particularly rich and encompassed both contemporary music and standard repertory. Their first album, Live: Call & Response 2000, containing works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Dan Coleman, was released on their own label in 2002. Call & Response was an annual event, active between 2000 and 2016, for which the group commissioned a new work that responded in some way to classical repertory and demonstrated its continuing influence. It later recorded for Summit, MinMax Music, and Naxos (among others, a fine 2009 release of quartets by the then 85-year-old Benjamin Lees) before signing with Avie and releasing a complete cycle of Beethoven's string quartets, recorded several years earlier under a Cypress Performing Arts Association aegis.

The relationship with Avie yielded several more releases, including The American Album (2013), a group of American string quartets, and a recording of Dvorák's rarely heard Cypresses for string quartet, recorded at Skywalker sound and released the same year. Releases on Avie continued to appear after the Cypress' 2016 farewell, with an album of Brahms sextets with Zuill Bailey and Barry Shiffman in 2017 and a set of the six string quartets of Elena Ruehr, also featuring the Borromeo String Quartet, the following year. ~ James Manheim

Songs

Albums