String Quartet No. 2

What’s so essential about Martin Bresnick? Well, for starters he’s impacted a few decades worth of composition students at Yale. If you subscribe to the old adage that those who can’t do teach, let The Essential Martin Bresnick change your mind. The composer’s String Quartet No. 2, here performed by the Flux Quartet, explores an idiosyncratic take on the medium. Harsh intervals morph into strange aggregates which, in turn, do an ugly-duckling-turning-into-the-swan routine. Bresnick manages to acculturate quite a few alien attributes into the traditional setting, making a hybrid weird enough to standout in the crowd—they never taught us that in school.

—RN

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