Jennifer Higdon: An Exaltation Of Larks / Lark Quartet

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[Higdon's] preoccupation with an elaborate tapestry of string textures [in An Exaltation of Larks], replicating the sounds of the natural world, fits in nicely with the proclivities of the Lark players. (...) The Higdon magic works! (...) [ Scenes from the Poet's Dreams,] explores a series of dream landscapes that allow the composer and the Lark Quartet to apply a variety of choice string techniques and sounds, in the interest of making the music more luminous. (...) Light a two-movement design of the utmost simplicity, replicating the process by which we take in our “inner Light” from our influences, and then project it out to the world. A slow drawing-inward that gradually gains momentum, then a fast-moving, energetic ending. Could anything be simpler?

-- Audio Video Club of Atlanta


Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962) is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy award, and is one of the most performed living American composers working today. Ms. Higdon's upcoming work includes an opera on Charles Frazier’s book, “Cold Mountain”, for Santa Fe Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. This recording feature three recent chamber works: In Scenes from the Poet's Dreams (composed for the performers who play it here) the piano left hand (virtuoso Gary Graffman) takes a prominent part in the unfolding of this highly contrasted work, bearing unusually descriptive titles: "Racing Through Stars", "Summer Shimmers Across the Glass of Green Ponds" etc.. Light Refracted is a meditation on light. The composer describes a first movement "that reflects on our inner light, and how we take that light in; and a second movement that is the opposite, our projection of light out to the world." She also writes about An Exaltation of Larks: "The first time someone told me that a collection of Larks is called an “Exaltation”, I immediately thought, 'What a sound an exaltation of larks must make!'--How to capture the beauty of the idea of exalting and singing? A string quartet seemed perfect!" - Bridge Records

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: BCD9379

  • UPC: 090404937927

  • Label: Bridge Records

  • Composer: Jennifer Higdon

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Lark String Quartet

  • Performer: Blair McMillen, Gary Graffman, Todd Palmer