BEHZAD RANJBARAN (b.1955): 6 Caprices for 2 Violins (Chen Xi, Frank Huang), String Quartet (Huang, Wayne Lin [violins], Beth Guterman [viola], Ole Akahoshi [cello]), For String Orchestra: Awakening, Moto Perpetuo, Elegy for Cello and Strings, Elegy (Sejong Soloists).
Catalogue Number: 08M088
Description: An Iranian-born, American-domiciled coposer, Ranjbaran writes redily accessible, largely tonal music with strong emotioal content, frequently with some poetic, literary or philosphical subtext. Awakening, an impresive reflection on the conflict between war and peace, in three-movement arch form, recalls Shostakovich. Elsewhere, Ranjbaran's Persian heritage is more readily apparent in subtle modal inflections to the melodic line, central to the eloquent elegies and the expansive slow movement of the quartet. The latter work resembles Awakening; a similar three-movement structure with an abrupt first movement and dancing finale framing a meditative slow movement. The caprices are virtuosic character-pieces exploring a variety of textures, sometimes suggesting a larger ensemble in their intricate restlessness.