Live review: JACK Quartet + IRCAM at the Institute of Contemporary Art, April 29, 2016

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“Jack Quartet, IRCAM prove electric company at ICA”
Boston Globe, May 3, 2016

It’s always good to catch up with the JACK Quartet, whose name I’ll render here in its preferred all-caps-as-acronym form even if the newspaper declined to do so. (The group’s fans know “JACK” = John Pickford Richards, Ari Streisfeld, Christopher Otto, and Kevin McFarland.) Nitpick as I’m inclined to do, I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out, and the concert itself was a gift. If you’re interested in the subject matter, you should also read the Globe review of the previous evening’s Sound Icon + IRCAM performance, which Zoë Madonna reviewed and I edited.

I’m very much looking forward to hearing the JACK Quartet recording of Hidden, the Chaya Czernowin piece that had its U.S. premiere on this program, even if no stereo version could do complete justice to the live event’s spatialized sound. Sooner than that, I’m eager to hear a newly released disc that was cited by Alex Ross over the weekend, initiating a Mode Records series devoted to the quartets and piano sonatas of Horatiu Radulescu, for which JACK recorded the String Quartet No. 5 (“before the universe was born”).

The Globe didn’t send a photographer to the JACK performance, so my own meager efforts will have to suffice. Above, the room just before the concert, with my present home turf visible across the water; below, JACK accepts a long, rousing ovation with IRCAM’s Serge Lemouton and Ms. Czernowin.

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Original Source: Live review: JACK Quartet + IRCAM at the Institute of Contemporary Art, April 29, 2016

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