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DRESS CODE

 

ALTIUS Quartet

Joshua Ulrich violin

Andrew Giordano violin

Andrew Krimm viola

Zachary Reaves cello

 

OVERVIEW

 

Navona Records proudly presents DRESS CODE, the debut release from Colorado-based string ensemble Altius Quartet. Comprised of violinists Joshua Ulrich and Andrew Giordano, violist Andrew Krimm, and cellist Zachary Reaves, the quartet’s core mission is to strive for universality in their music and communicate directly with their listeners.

 

It’s this outlook that led to DRESS CODE’s eclectic blend of genres, with works from eighteenth-century classical repertoire to 1980s pop being presented both on their own and combined in new arrangements. Altius attributes the album’s appeal for a wide range of musical palates to “each work being derived from a universal source of invention and innovation, representative of the times in history from whence they came.”

 

Interspersed between the album’s more contemporary arrangements are movements of two classical works from vastly different eras. Drawing from the classical period themes of Franz Josef Haydn’s Quartet in C Major, Op.74 No. 1 (1793) and the ragtime sensibilities of William Bolcom’s Three Ghost Rags (1970), the quartet emulates the works’ playfulness in a way which makes for seamless transitions between their more mainstream song selections.

 

Reaves provides fresh arrangements of these popular staples, which include a medley of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir”; Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”; and a-ha’s “Take on Me.” Perhaps the most unique arrangement among these newer pieces is Take It, an unlikely pairing of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.” The result is a bold endeavor which pays equal homage to both songs while creating an invigorating new composition in the process; one that effortlessly combines the appeal of classical, jazz, and pop.

 

DRESS CODE offers much in the way of musical treats, all of which are bolstered by Altius’ proficient playing and clear cohesion as an ensemble. And even after the album concludes, perceptive listeners might even discover some hidden gems from the quartet’s playbook lying just beneath the surface.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Called “rich” and “captivating” by I Care If You Listen, the burgeoning Altius Quartet is a string ensemble formed in 2011 to further the art of chamber music through performance, education, and outreach.

 

The group takes its name from the Olympic Latin motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (“Faster, Higher, Stronger”), tied to their vision of conveying art to a more diverse audience and engaging directly with the community.

 

Altius has already won numerous prizes early on in their career, including awards at the 2016 Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition, 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, 2014 Coltman Chamber Music Competition, and 2013 Plowman Chamber Music Competition.

 

DRESS CODE includes both classical compositions from composers Franz Josef Haydn and William Bolcom as well as several popular pieces from contemporary artists like Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, a-ha, and David Brubeck.

 

Take It is an especially interesting piece, as cellist Zack Reaves juxtaposes Jackson’s “Beat It” and Brubeck’s “Take Five” in a single arrangement. The result is a unique blend of pop, jazz, and classical which channels the spirit of both original songs into an impressive new creation.

 

ALSO ON NAVONA

 

APOLLO CHAMBER PLAYERS

Release Date April 14, 2017

Catalog #: NV6078

 

 

TRACK LISTING

 

Franz Joseph Haydn

String Quartet in C major, Op. 74, No. 1

01 I. Allegro moderato

 

Dave Brubeck/Michael Jackson arr. Zachary Reaves

02 Take it

 

William Bolcom

Three Rags

03 II. Graceful Ghost

 

Led Zeppelin arr. Zachary Reaves

04 Stairway to Heaven/Kashmir

 

Franz Joseph Haydn

String Quartet in C major, Op. 74, No. 1

05 II. Andantino grazioso

 

William Bolcom

Three Rags

06 I. Poltergeist

 

Franz Joseph Haydn

String Quartet in C major, Op. 74, No. 1

07 III. Menuetto: Allegro – Trio

 

William Bolcom

Three Rags

08 III. Incineratorag

 

Ben E. King arr. Zachary Reaves

09 Stand by Me

 

Franz Joseph Haydn

String Quartet in C major, Op. 74, No. 1

10 IV. Vivace

 

a-ha arr. Zachary Reaves

11 Take on Me

 

Bonus Track

Mack Rice arr. Zachary Reaves

12 Mustang Sally

 

 

CREDITS

 

Recorded July 12-15, 2016 in Grusin Hall in Imig Music Building, University of Colorado – Boulder

 

Recording Session Producer Stephanie Mientka

Recording Session Engineer Kevin Harbison

 

Cover Photography Courtney Huffman

Location Boulder, Colorado

 

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Alex Bourne

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Production Engineer Lucas Paquette

Mastering Shaun Michaud, Lucas Paquette

Art & Production Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Design Emily Roulo

Marketing Scott Murphy

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Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.

 

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