Riley - Four Four Three (2016)


Ragazze Quartet

The Ragazze Quartet with its classical roots, Slagwerk Den Haag with its contemporary sounds, and the unusual jazz trio Kapok... Contrasting contours, but a common denominator: none of these three ensembles belong to a specific category. All three push the boundaries of our genres in our quest for new forms and adventurous joint projects. It is through this inquisitive musicianship that the unusual combination feels so wonderfully natural.
The choice for Riley’s repertoire gave another stir to our boundary reconnoitre. For Riley’s music allows considerable space for creativity and improvisation. The tension that arises through freedom within strict frames means that every performance is different. And it brings with it that the music has a strong sense of spontaneity and joie de vivre.
In C, performed by the Ragazze Quartet and Slagwerk Den Haag, the dynamic range is enormous. Long, melodic lines as well as short, rhythmic motifs may be employed, producing an effect of both tranquil contemplation and pulsating explosiveness. Sunrise of the planetary dream collector was originally written for string quartet. But the Ragazze Quartet invited jazz trio Kapok to make a new arrangement together. The mix of string quartet and horn, electric guitar and percussion, all expanded with electronic effects, offers a rich pallet of timbres. All this goes to bring the groovy rhythm and whimsical, improvisatory character of the music further to the fore. In this way the combination of different ensembles forms the basis for our own unique version of Terry Riley’s In C and Sunrise. A version you have probably never heard before and will not hear anywhere else.
-Ragazze Quartet

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Ragazze Quartet

The Ragazze Quartet is a young, Dutch string quartet, remarkable for its musical enthusiasm, talent,versatility and presentation. Its versatility in particular is unusual within the world of chamber music.The quartet collaborates with and performs alongside composers, other musicians – classical orotherwise – and artists working in a variety of disciplines. In such projects the Ragazze Quartetalways operates from its classical music core, while attempting to attain the ultimate crossover.

The different disciplines are approached entirely equally, but in so doing they complement andelevate one another.The quartet followed the two-year full-time curriculum of the Dutch String Quartet Academy(NSKA). There the members attended masterclasses directed by leading musicians from theinternational string quartet world, as well as lessons from their regular teachers Stefan Metz and MarcDanel. After completing the academy course the quartet was coached for a year by Luc MarieAguera, violinist in the Quatuor Ysaye; this was made possible by the Dutch Kersjes Foundation.In October 2007 the Ragazze Quartet toured Nepal, where, besides giving concerts, they metlocal musicians and shared musical ideas. Immediately after this tour, the Ragazze played in ‘TheDebut’, a concert series in all major Dutch concert halls.In March 2010 the quartet was invited to the Kronos Quartet workshop in New York City.

After an intense week the Ragazze performed several pieces from the Kronos repertoire in Carnegie Hall.The Ragazze Quartet performs regularly at chamber music venues throughout Holland (suchas the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vredenburg Utrecht and Philipszaal The Hague) and abroad (including Paris, Prague, Geneva, Ljubljana and Rio de Janeiro).In 2012 the Ragazze Quartet signed a contract to record three CDs with the renownedChannel Classics label.The instruments played by Geneviève and Jeanita are kindly lent by the National MusicInstruments Foundation. In Haydn’s ‘Fifths’ quartet four classical bows made by Andreas Grutterwere used.

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Riley - Four Four Three (2016)


Ragazze Quartet


(...) een bijzondere derde cd van het Ragazze Quartet (...) fraaie en subtiele klanken (...)


This collective achievement is so superbly recorded by Jared Sacks, and so colorful, that it will likely send your head spinning into another dimension. (...) It is a fabulous listening experience. If your toes are not tapping by the end of In C, it may be time to consider psychedelic therapy as an alternative to self-incarceration.


(...) This recording with the Ragazze Quartet and Slagwerk Den Haag is detailed, refined and imaginative but is also more a chamber-music ‘arrangement’ rather than a performance that adheres to the letter of the score – something of which Riley would no doubt very much approve it has to be added. (...)


Het Ragazze Quartet laat zich niet in één hokje te vangen. Na een album met muziek van Weense en Tsjechische componisten verrast Ragazze Quartet met twee iconische, repetitieve werken van Terry Riley. Voor In C uit 1964 wordt samengewerkt met Slagwerk Den Haag. Dit leidt tot een dynamische interpretatie waarbij melodische lijnen worden afgewisseld met ritmische motieven. Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector (dat Riley in 1980 voor het Kronos Quartet schreef) krijgt hier een nieuwe interpretatie door de samenwerking met het eigenzinnige jazz-trio Kapok, die de klankkleuren verrijken met een hoorn, elektrische gitaar en percussie. Door deze samenstelling komt het groovy en het speels improvisatorische karakter van deze droomverzamelaar uitstekend naar boven.

    Klassieke Zaken

Een caleidoscoop aan klanken trekt voorbij, fascinerende interacties van slagwerk en strijkers. (...) Repetitief, reflecterend, geheimzinnig, hypnotisch (...)

    Gonzo Circus

(...) steeds weten de ensembles andere invullingen en kleuringen te ontdekken (...) dit is geen musiceren meer. Dit is dansen.


"The new DSD-native recording from Channel Classics by the Ragazze String Quartet, percussion quartet Slagwerk Den Haag, and genre-redefining drumkit/French horn/guitar trio Kapok, can be purchased as a Stereo or Multichannel DSD download in resolutions up to Quad DSD. This collective achievement is so superbly recorded by Jared Sacks, and so colorful, that it will likely send your head spinning into another dimension. (...) Don't set the volume too high in the beginning, because the performance includes some fantastic peaks where everyone goes at it at once and it's all you can do to hold on for dear life. In fact, if you follow Riley's example and alter your consciousness, you may not wish to hold on at all. Those who believe that, because I frequently assert that the sonic differences between power cables are easily audible, my head must have been spinning in another dimension long before I ever heard this recording, are hereby invited to get out of their heads entirely and indulge themselves in the magic that recording engineer Jared Sacks helps create on Four Four Three. It is a fabulous listening experience. If your toes are not tapping by the end of In C, it may be time to consider psychedelic therapy as an alternative to self-incarceration."

Jason Victor Serinus[read full review]

    BBC Radio 3

“The opening of Terry Riley's Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector in the Ragazze Quartet's new recording, teamed up with contemporary jazz trio Kapok whose interventions emphasize the way in which Riley was drawing on his experiences as an improviser, tossing around the riffs and melodic fragments from which the piece is rebuilt every time it is performed. It works really well, as does the Ragazze's recording of In C...”


Een eigenzinnige combinatie die interpretatief tot in de griondvesten overtuigt. Drie factoren bepalen het verloop: de ongebruikelijke samenstelling, de muzikale intensiteit en de zin tot avonturieren.

    The Guardian -

It’s fun and breezy, if not a whole lot more. (...)

    Trouw -

Samen creëerden ze een geheel eigen sfeer. Licht zwevend, exotisch, transparant, alles voorzien van een natuurlijke ritmische drive. (...)

    Volkskrant -

(...) een eigen, magnifiek gestructureerde versie (...) je blijft luisteren naar de van kleur verschietende klankcombinaties, de langs elkaar glijdende ritmes, de momenten waarop de sfeer verrassend omslaat. (...) zelfs van het hoesje is een spannend kunstwerkje gemaakt. (...)

    Het Parool -

(...) mooi helder en licht (...) in de laatste minuten slaat nog even op een zeer aangename manier de vlam in de pan

    Luister 10

(...) Zoveel intelligentie en verfijning: nergens zitten de instrumenten elkaar in de weg. Ieder kan zijn wie hij is. (...)

Riley - Four Four Three (2016)


Ragazze Quartet

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Grimm DSD A/D
Mastering Engineer:

The recording was originally digitized using the Grimm AD1, which operates at DSD64. The original session tracks were edited and rebalanced (which meant going through the mixer)  in the only available format for that purpose; the Pyramix 352.8KHz/24bit PCM (DXD). Prior to the advent of direct digital delivery, the next step in the production process from 352.8KHz/24bit PCM would be the DSD64 edited master for SACD production. What we have done now is also make a direct conversion to DSD128 and DSD256 from that original DXD edited master, without going through any interim processing steps.


Those DXD to DSD conversions are not up-samplings, as they would be going from one PCM sampling rate to another, for they are different encoding systems. PCM is a digital value sample based system, and DSD is a digital bit density modulated system. Conversion from any PCM sample rate to any DSD bit rate system is a remodulation, not an up-sampling.

We feel there is an audio advantage to this process in using the original files so we give you the choice and you can decide.

Jared Sacks

Mastering Equipment: Grimm LS1
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: MCO studios Hilversum Holland
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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37816: Riley - Four Four Three
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In C
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Sunrise of the planetary dream collector
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