The Acacia Ensemble came together in 2010, formed by violinists Lisa Stewart and Myee Clohessy, violist Stefan Duwe and cellist Anna Martin-Scrase. They come from a diverse range of quartets and orchestras and choose to focus on new contemporary compositions. While I have yet to see them live, I look forward to it after listening to this album (on high rotation).
Elena Kats-Chernin is one of Australia’s favorite living composers. Fast Blue Village is the first in a series of recordings dedicated to Elena’s complete works for string quartet. It is the first installment in a series of recordings to celebrate Elena’s complete works for string quartet.
The recording is divine and the music seems familiar and new at the same time. The music is dramatic, rhythmic and melodic and works equally well in the background or turned up loud to fill the whole house. I love it!
The Acacia Ensemble met Elena at a concert in 2011 and they took a passionate interest in her work, learning her entire quartet repertoire and recording this album with her blessing and supervision. Elena and The Acacia Ensemble have forged a strong bond and going forward the ensemble will perform and record Elena’s new quartet work, with several works currently in progress.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful things about this recording is the fact that the music is not only performed perfectly by The Acacia Ensemble but that its recorded the way the composer, Elena wanted. Imagine if we had heard Bach or Handel recorded the way they wanted… I wonder how different they would have been.