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Serious Business

DVD + Blu-ray

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Serious Business is not a funny album. More accurately, playing this album will not induce the brand of gut-busting, teary-eyed revelry that an episode of Chappelle's Show or a YouTube clip of Anna Karkowska's vibrato will. It is funny like the idea of a Rothko turning the stomachs of well-heeled gluttons at the Four Seasons is funny, or how anything Andy Kaufman ever suited up for is funny. It might be a little uncomfortable, rings clear in its truth, and sometimes reveals itself gradually.
Serious Business comprises four different perspectives on humor through the lens of classical music - a flavor of music that could use a little more funny, in general. You, dear listener, won't be popping in this CD in the way you would a Louis C.K. special. This is an album about what makes something funny, and more importantly, a collection of music we think is brilliant, and clever, and unequivocally worth entering the cave for.
Since its inception, the Spektral Quartet has sought out the discourse between the great works of the traditional canon and those written this decade, this year, or this week. Creating connections across centuries, the group further invites its listeners in with charismatic deliveries, interactive concert formats, an up-close atmosphere, and bold, inquisitive programming.
The ensemble is regarded for its forward-thinking endeavors including the Mobile Miniatures project, which rallied more than forty composers from across the US including David Lang, Augusta Read Thomas, Nico Muhly and Shulamit Ran to write ringtone-length pieces for download to mobile devices. In addition to finding vehicles for bringing classical music into everyday life, the Spektral Quartet prioritizes immersion and inclusivity and delivers the majority of its Chicago concerts in vibrant, unconventional venues.
The Spektral Quartet proudly serves as ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago's Department of Music.
spektralquartet.com

Review

Chicago Tribune Album of the week

"Perhaps the funniest few seconds of "Serious Business," the new recording by Chicago's cutting-edge Spektral Quartet, is the entry of Franz Joseph Haydn's well-mannered String Quartet No. 2 (Opus 33) on the heels of David Reminick's decidedly ill-mannered "The Ancestral Mousetrap" (2014), in which the instrumentalists play and sing (sometimes in four-part harmony) an absurdist-macabre text by Russell Edson.

But, then, Haydn did subtitle his quartet "The Joke" (a reference to the several tongue-in-cheeky endings in the Presto finale), and everything about the Sono Luminus package (the CD comes with an audio DVD) is an intentional nudge in the listener's ribs - not so much laugh-out-loud funny as wickedly-droll funny.

The big piece on the disc, Chicago composer Chris Fischer-Lochhead's "Hack" (2015) is a suite in 22 sections - some as tiny as 9 or 10 seconds - made up of transcriptions of lines once uttered by 16 famed comedians ranging from Lenny Bruce to Robin Williams. Fischer-Lochhead's rude scrunches, swoops and sputters are cheerfully anarchic stuff; so is Sky Macklay's "Many Many Cadences" (2014), a twitchy mass of tonal cadences jammed atop one another. The performances and recording could hardly be better, and the cover art is a hoot."
--John von Rhein, Chicagotribune.com, January 26, 2016

"Spektral's album may be entitled Serious Business, but in actuality it encompasses anything but the austere classical stereotype. Filled with music that is new and old, classical and comedic, it is boundary-defying in every way." --Rebecca Julie, Chicagomaroon.com, January 28, 2016


Product details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Sono Luminus
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2016
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0189X16RA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,806 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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January 29, 2016
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