COMPOSERS: Dizzy Gillespie
WORKS: Spider Dreams Suite; Interchange; A Night in Tunisia; Blue In Green
PERFORMER: Turtle Island String Quartet; Detroit SO/Neeme Jarvi
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9331 DDD
The plural title of this ‘New Directions’ series is apt enough. In search of an elusive new classical record-buying public, Chandos seems to have emulated the Stephen Leacock character who ‘flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions’. In fact, the only genuinely ‘new’ direction is taken by the live recording which combines the amplified, improvising Turtle Island String Quartet with Neeme Jarvi’s Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
But the specially composed items here make less impact than the big-big-band version of Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia, and the quartet’s witty encores, arrangements of Miles Davis, Bach and Tower of Power. There are two discs of Russian music – a current growth area in the classical market. In Grechaninov’s solemn Holy Week cycle, the recording captures the rich sound of Polyansky’s elite choir, founded on those inimitable Russian basses.