International Contemporary Ensemble, St Lawrence String Quartet
In Son of Chamber Symphony (2007), two scherzo-like outer movements frame a centrepiece that manages to be both calm and upbeat. John Adams challenges his 15 players to feats of technical virtuosity but seems to be treading all-too-familiar ground.
Much more successful is String Quartet (2008), a powerful homage to classical form in Adams’ most sensitive vein. Excellent performances.