ANEARFUL:
Best Of 2017: Classical

ANEARFUL: Best Of 2017: Classical

BY JEREMY SHATAN

Chamber Explorations
Jasper String Quartet - Unbound
This excellent quartet has long played newer music alongside canonical works but on Unbound they jump into the 21st Century feet first and perform seven pieces by living composers. I think they found the water to their liking as these are fantastic performances of well-curated works by Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, David Lang, Donnacha Dennehy, and Ted Hearne. The Sono Luminus recording is - as usual - perfect, with a close but not clinical acoustic that puts you in the center of the music, which is alternately spacey, fun, folksy and severe. Unbound easily takes its place as one of 2017's essential string quartet releases, alongside Brooklyn Rider's terrific Spontaneous Symbols and the Del Sol String Quartet's instant classic, Dark Queen Mantra.

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