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Price: $13.98


Audio Samples: 
L'errance: I (1,086.99 kb)
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Térritoires Intérieurs (975.60 kb)
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Call Number: : CD 1616
Ensemble/Performer: Yoko Hirota
Media Type: CD
Year of Release: 2013
Record Label: Centrediscs / Centredisques

About this CD:

The product of an extremely close working relationship between performers and composer, L’Errance… is a remarkable collection of the complete music for string quartet by acclaimed contemporary Canadian composer Robert Lemay. Through many years of collaboration, this album offers a unique perspective on Lemay’s music from the Silver Birch String Quartet and pianist Yoko Hirota. Through works inspired by Dutch film maker Wim Wenders, Saskatchewan visual artist Eli Bornstein, and Quebec film maker Bernard Émond, Lemay creates evocative harmonies and textures brought vividly to life by some of Canada’s finest interpreters of contemporary music.

The Silver Birch String Quartet is one of Canada’s most innovative young quartets, known for high-energy live performances and unique projects expanding the boundaries of traditional chamber music. Recently appointed String Quartet-in-Residence at Laurentian University in Sudbury (Ontario), the quartet regularly collaborates with many of Canada’s finest chamber musicians, and has
performed in concerts across North America. Their first album “Silverbirch” with Montreal jazz-pianist John Roney earned them a 2010 JUNO nomination, 2 Félix nominations in Quebec, as well as a 5-star review in the Montreal Gazette. Strongly committed to the music of our time, the SBSQ regularly commissions and performs music by Canadian and international composers, both established and emerging. The SBSQ has been the recipient of several prestigious grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and FACTOR.


1. - 4. L’errance… hommage à Wim Wenders 10 :27

5. Structure/Paysage ... hommage à Eli Bornstein 16:55

6. Térritoires Intérieurs (hommage à Bernard Émond) 17:06

Silver Birch String Quartet
featuring pianist Yoko Hirota

"A marvellous discovery from northern Ontario. I have long known and enjoyed the music of Sudbury-based Robert Lemay but I had not previously heard his music for string quartet nor for that matter did I know there even was a string quartet in that city. L’errance …, another in the wealth of recent releases on the Centrediscs label (CMCCD 19513) has opened my ears on both accounts.

The Silver Birch String Quartet is an excellent ensemble of young players currently in residence at Laurentian University with a string of accomplishments, including a previous recording with Montreal jazz pianist John Roney that garnered a JUNO nomination in 2010 and two Felix Awards, which makes me wonder why they weren’t already on my radar.

This disc spans two decades of the Lemay’s output, beginning with L’errance ... hommage à Wim Wenders composed over a two-year period in Montreal, Quebec City and Buffalo, completed in 1990. It takes its inspiration from Wenders’ film Wings of Desire and is the first of a series of works paying tribute to different film directors. Although written long before the group’s formation, Silver Birch have toured this work extensively and feel it to be a signature piece in their repertoire. Opening with an extended cello solo and ending with solo violin, in this it is reminiscent of the third quartet of Canadian icon R. Murray Schafer, although Lemay’s language is quite distinct. The other works are more recent and reflect the mature voice of this composer. Structure/paysage ... hommage à Eli Bornstein (2008) is one of a series of works honouring abstract painters, in this case the leader of the Canadian structuralist abstract school. For the final and most developed work on the CD, Territoires intérieurs (hommage à Bernard Émond) (2010), the quartet is joined by pianist Yoko Hirota. This captivating piece was commissioned by the quartet and developed over the period of a residency at the Banff Centre which they say “was among the most artistically fulfilling projects for us as a quartet.” Certainly that camaraderie is conveyed in this performance which was captured in all its intimate glory in this Glenn Gould Studio recording by engineer Dennis Patterson and producer David Jaeger.

This is one of the most satisfying chamber discs to come my way in a long time." - David Olds, The WholeNote

"[...]These are thoughtful and expressive works that have much to charm and intrigue the ear, while the excellent standard of recording on the CD allow the pieces to make maximum impact." - John Wagstaff, CAML Review

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