BENJAMIN LEES (1924-2010): Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra, MICHAEL ABELS (b.1962): Delights & Dances for String Quartet and String Orchestra, AN-LUN HUANG (b.1949): Saibei Dance from Saibei Suite No. 2, LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): West Side Story Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (arr. Randall Craig Fleisher [b.1958]).
Catalogue Number: 06O071
Reference: CDR 90000 141
Description: A 1968 RCA LP coupled with the Sessions Sym. No. 3 is perhaps the only other recording of Lees' most popular and most performed concerto which was written in 1964. Vigorously rhythmic, its expressiveness is more intense than lyrical; solidly tonal, it treats each of the quartet members as a virtuoso soloist. Abels' work is a fast-paced, 13-minute piece with elements of blues, jazz, bluegrass and Latin dance elements. Not much need be said about the West Side Story arrangement because almost anything you can do with Uncle Lenny's music is going to work just because it's so good to begin with. Huang's four-minute dance does not use the quartet/orchestra plan; it's just an enjoyable, Chinese-flavored bonbon. Harlem Quartet, Chicago Sinfonietta; Mei-Ann Chen.