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“The Wind in High Places, a tripartite piece for string quartet that uses only natural harmonics and open strings—played extremely quietly—to create a still, pastoral ambience… Could any new music be more delicately sparse, more wonderfully poetic? I think not.” —John von Rhein,Chicago Tribune
“This is a beautiful recording with music that enchants. John Luther Adams gives us some of his most intimate music on this one. It communicates directly and with sublimity.” — Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
“Most of the dazzling oeuvre of Alaskan composer John Luther Adams is inspired by and informed by nature, and the three recent works on this excellent album are no exception. The title piece adapts the principles underlying the Aeolian harp, which is played by the wind; it treats the ensemble, in this case New York’s versatile JACK Quartet, as a single 16-string instrument. Throughout its nearly 20 minutes, the players never touch their fingerboards, instead rendering its austere, melancholy melodies with open strings and ghostly harmonics. Just as gorgeous and ethereal is Canticles of the Sky, performed by the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble, which means to evoke the way atmospheric conditions can create the suggestion of a multitude of suns or moons in the arctic and in the Sonoran Desert. The final piece, played by JACK, delivers Adams’s adaption of the song of the canyon wren.” —Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader