Far from being a spin-off or a clone of the Kronos Quartet, the Sirius Quartet is a fiercely – individually and collectively – creative ensemble that explores an aural landscape with no definable borders. Violinists Fung Chern Hwei and Gregor Huebner, violist Ron Lawrence and cellist Jeremy Harman are composers who worship at the altar of creativity. These are musicians who enter the very grain of the wood of their instruments, emerging after being subsumed in the mysterious vibrations of the air within. Wave after wave of sound forms rippling tonal colours that come alive swathed in the timbres of their instruments. Each time their music is heard one can’t help being impressed by their devilishly good virtuosity.
The present recording offers ten classic selections – including a four-part suite – from recent, original repertoire and also furnishes further evidence of the development of the ensemble as they mine an impossibly deep world where jazz meets the classics. Alongside the high spirits of Huebner’s Racing Mind, for instance, a profound contemplative tone is struck in Huebner’s composition, The Wollheim Quartet, a remarkable piece of visceral drama as well as sweetness of tone, with superbly poised rhythm in its Presto movement. Harman’s Paths Become Lines bursts out in expansive chords and heaving with thick-textured agitation before the music builds into a heated climax. And that is just the beginning of a disc full of excitement and drama.