Elliott Schwartz: Tapestry


Catalogue No: MSV 28537
EAN/UPC: 809730853722
Artists: , , , ,
Release Date: April 2013
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 71:46

Elliott Schwartz died very recently. He was a highly respected and inspired composer from New England; here are four major chamber works which demonstrate his individuality and highly approachable and enjoyable style, all brilliantly performed. “Tapestry” and “Memorial” were recorded live at the Library of Congress, Washington DC.

Track Listing

Elliott Schwartz:

  1. String Quartet No. 2 (21:02)
  2. I. Memorial in Two Parts – Part I (8:38)
  3. II. Memorial in Two Parts – Part II (9:58)
  4. Tapestry (13:47)
  5. Water Music (18:21)



The sensation of being transported always amazed me… I could sit, relax and enjoy being taken through both familiar and unfamiliar places. When I listened to this album, something similar happened. Paying homage to his colleagues with wit, vivacity and musical irreverence, Schwartz combines quotes … Monteverdi, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Gershwin appear in active interaction, knitting into a continuous texture of cadences [in Memorial]. If you like journeys, you should listen to Tapestry. It will take you places.

” —Jorge Variego

Much of [Schwartz’s] music takes the form of collage in which he takes snippets of other composers’ works and weaves them into a well-made musical fabric by means of various techniques. His music may be one way that we unify the musical past with our own time. Schwartz’s compositions are surprisingly accessible. His textures are rich, his harmonies inventive, and every once in a while he includes a bit of humor. [Skaerved, Shorr & Johnson] have a great rapport and play wonderfully well together. The artistry of the British virtuoso string ensemble Longbow helps make [Water Music] a fitting finale for this well-put-together disc. The sound is clear and pleasant. Solo instruments are always heard to good advantage. I recommend this compact disc for anyone interested in 20th- and 21st- century music.

” —Maria Nockin
Symposium - Journal Of The College Music Society

Quotation, suggestion, and stylistic interplay assume significant roles in these works, and their placement and manipulation take the listener down fascinating and unexpected paths. Elliott Schwartz is a composer in possession of great craft and a deep love of the Western canon. While his employment of quotation and stylistic references adds a rich layer of potential meaning to his works, one does not need to share Schwartz’s connections in order to experience and enjoy his dramatic gestures and stylistic interplay on their own terms. Tapestry presents works of great emotional weight and subtle textural exploration worth discovering in relation to one’s own previous musical memory.

” —Jason Hoogerhyde
Journal Of The Society For American Music

In every composition, the beauty and terror of spontaneity are pitted in some way against the nostalgia of familiarity and expectation. Schwartz’s quartet is an extravagantly chimerical but soulful journey that, from beginning to end, offers a rich feast for the ears of any thoughtful and attentive listener. Violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved and pianist Aaron Shorr are both impressive in their technical and interpretive command of the virtuosity and emotional range—from the explosive to the gently nuanced—demanded by [Memorial in Two Parts]. The quality of sound is clear, clean and appropriately resonant.

” —Daniel Strong Godfrey
International Record Review

Elliott Schwartz’s music reveals a well-stocked mind fully alert to musical and non-musical art forms alike. Schwartz’s is certainly an individual voice.

” —Michael Round