Speaking of modernism and accessibility, here’s a program of 20th- and 21st-century string quartets consciously designed both to celebrate cultural differences (the featured composers come from the four different countries represented by the quartet’s membership) and to encourage transcendence of them. South Africa is represented by Kevin Volans’ now-familiar second string quartet (subtitled “Hunting:Gathering”); Japan by Hajime Koumatsu’s Japanese Folk Song Suite No. 2; Russia by Igor Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for String Quartet; and the United States by Dan Visconti’s witty 11-movement Ramshackle Songs (presented here in its world-première recording). The playing is great and the program thoroughly enjoyable in all its diversity.
- Rick Anderson, Associate Dean at the University of Utah