“The boundaries of the actual are no more fixed and rigid than the elasticity of our imaginations.”
—Henry David Thoreau
THE GALAX QUARTET with KAREN R. CLARK, contralto
String Quartet No. 2, “Revolution”
Joseph Schwantner (Pulitzer Prize for Music, 1979)
Dream Drapery: Thoreau Songs* For Baroque string quartet, contralto and 2 crystal goblets
Radif IV (Galax version) “Stars of Highest Magnitude”
* For Baroque string quartet and crystal goblets
*World premier recordings!
About the Galax Quartet
Elizabeth Blumenstock, David Wilson: Baroque violins; Roy Whelden: viola da gamba; David Morris: Baroque cello
Founded in 2005, the Galax Quartet—two violins, viola da gamba and ‘cello—explores the realm where early music and Baroque instruments intersect with new music and living composers, in classical quartets, film scores, song cycles, jazz, and collaborations with poets and mad scientists.
The Galax Quartet’s instrumentation is modeled on an early version of the string quartet as practiced by the late 18th century composer and viola da gamba player, Carl Friedrich Abel. The period instruments are characterized by the use of gut strings, low angle fingerboards, the absence of chin rests or end pins, and the use of lighter bows balanced nearer to the player’s hand. The ensemble tunes to A 415 Hz. These elements offer a rich pallet of coloration and nuances to composers of new music.
By keeping their ears open to a myriad of modern influences, the Galax Quartet has helped create in little more than a dozen years more music for the ensemble than it inherited from the early classical period.
Each member of the Galax Quartet is a specialist in the field of early music. David Wilson, violin, is author of Georg Muffat on Performance Practice (Indiana University Press); Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin, is a frequent soloist and concertmaster with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; cellist David Morris was founder and musical director of the Baroque opera ensemble Teatro Bacchino; and composer and gambist Roy Whelden has been called “a key figure in the world of new music” by Early Music America.