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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Catalyst Quartet, Uncovered, Volume 3, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still, George Walker


The Catalyst Quartet shows itself to be a first class, ultra-musical outfit with their third volume of Uncovered (Azica ACD-71357 download digital only), a well-conceived compilation of historically and artistically important Black composers and their String Quartets. The Third Volume looks at three quartets written between 1895 and 2018, by George Walker, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson and William Grant Still. All three works contain Afro-American rooted materials that undergo various transformation in constructing a Classical or Modern Classical chamber work in more or less recognizably mainstream form.

All that is the case and what ultimately unfolds is nearly an hour of state-of-the-art string quartet music played with spirited brilliance and well balanced expression throughout. The music fills in an important gap in Black chamber music by some of the most important of all US exponents. This is every bit as good as expectations would have it. Highly recommended.

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