Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Heavy by Ethel, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC


Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

There are so many striking aspects to Heavy, the 2012 album by the self-proclaimed post-classical string quartet Ethel, that it's hard to know where to begin. The music itself, written between 1996 and 2009 by eight composers, most of whom are based in NYC, is terrifically, consistently strong. The power, inventiveness, diversity of repertoire, and the composers' exceptionally high level of skill in writing for string quartet make this album reminiscent of the groundbreaking releases by the Kronos Quartet from the 1980s and early '90s. Ethel is by any standard a remarkably capable ensemble, and the players demonstrate a fearless mastery of this music's daunting technical and interpretive challenges. Innova describes its release as "the perfect answer to Light" (Ethel's 2006 album with that title), and heavy is a good starting point for characterizing the music's gritty drive, intensity, ferocity, and, frequently, its volume. The CD opens with Don Byron's String Quartet No. 2: Four Thoughts on Marvin Gaye, a dazzling, inspired reimagining of Gaye's songs. No less impressive and somewhat similar in character is John Halle's Sphere[']s, an homage to Thelonious Monk, with richly textured rhythmic overlays and an irresistible momentum. In contrast to the urban aggressiveness of these and most of the other works on the album are David Lang's wrenchingly poignant Wed and Marcelo Zarvos' Rounds, whose infectious groove and sunny sweetness might not technically be considered "heavy," but who could complain? The sound of the Innova CD is pristine and brilliant, with an almost startling sense of immediacy. Highly recommended for fans of new music and of spectacular string quartet performances.

Customer Reviews


I love Ethel, they're always up to something unique and interesting, this release features the greatest arrangement of David Lang's "wed" I've ever heard. Wonderful.

A great listen

Ethel always brings something interesting to the table and this one is no exception. A wonderful record!

david lang is the jam

i really dig this album!


Formed: 1998 in New York, NY

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '00s, '10s

During the first decade of the 21st century, the New York-based string quartet Ethel moved into a position analogous to that held by the Kronos Quartet during the 1980s and 1990s: stretching the boundaries of the conventions of string quartet literature by incorporating new technologies as well as the aesthetics of progressive popular music. While the Kronos has focused more and more on the realm of non-Western musics in the new century, Ethel has made technology an integrated element of its style...
Full Bio
Heavy, Ethel
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings