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Blu-ray Review

Peter Sculthorpe

Complete String Quartets with Didjeridu

  • String Quartet #12 "From Ubirr"
  • String Quartet #14 "Quamby"
  • String Quartet #16
  • String Quartet #18
Stephen Kent, didjeridu
Del Sol String Quartet
Sono Luminus CD+Blu-ray Audio DSL-92181 2CDs+Blu-ray
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Sono Luminus gives us a real treat; four string quartets with didgeridoo. It sounds strange both on paper and on disc, but it works. Peter Sculthorpe is a talented Australian composer who clearly knows what he's doing with this unusual combination. In typically excellent sound, the Del Sol Quartet is captured magnificently, as is soloist Stephen Kent.

The music is exotic, sensual, tragic, and more. Sculthorpe really has the full measure of the medium, and his use of the didgeridoo works with the quartet surprisingly well. I can't say that this will be to all tastes, but those willing to listen will be rewarded. Stephen Kent – for a lack of a better word – rocks out on his instrument and makes it do wild things. And the Del Sol Quartet is equally willing to let loose; the results are magical. If you're not crazy about modern music, this won't change your mind. On the other hand, I could see fans of rock and international music simply eating this up.

The two discs are packaged attractively along with a Blu-ray disc that contains the entire program. Listeners who want to see where the string quartet can go in the 21st Century will doubtless need to hear this, while for the rest of us, this remains an intriguing and inventive personal statement.

Copyright © 2014, Brian Wigman