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Timo Andres' "Early to Rise" and Home Stretch

Earlier in the summer, Timo Andres-- composer-pianist, graphic design enthusiast, and excellent home cook-- wrote a new string quartet, commissioned by the Library of Congress' Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music, which premeired in May and is now available through PSNY. The quartet, entitled Early to Rise, combines a work ethic, economy of means, and compactness of action that somehow reminds us of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Shaker furniture, and New American Color photography, all at once. (No wonder that Andres chose a William Eggleston photo for the cover of his new album- but we're getting ahead of ourselves!). Taking a five-note ostinato from Schumann's Gesänge der Frühe, Andres crafts a four-movement string quartet that lasts all of ten minutes, crafting a tidy, expressive, and intricate work that takes Schumann's sentiments and explodes them. A hot gem of a piece-- check it out! 

And of course, we don't need to remind you to check out Timo's recent album on Nonesuch, Home Stretch, but we will. This album contains a recording of its titular work, Home Stretch, composed as a companion piece to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12, as well as Andres' re-invention of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 26, and Andres' Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno, all performed by the Metropolis Ensemble. It's gotten some fantastic reviews. So as the summer reaches its own home strech, and the temperature grows colder, and you start to crave some music for piano and chamber ensemble... well, you know what to do. 

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