Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Chamber Music

January 2nd, 2023

A Musically Satisfying Mendelssohn Octet in E Flat Major Demo Disc From Chasing the Dragon

lets you compare analog vs. digital, 33 1/3 vs, 45, 1/2 speed to normal, tube vs. transistor mics

By: Michael Fremer

Mendelssohn completed his Octet in E Flat Major when he was 16 years old. Good thing he started composing brilliant pieces while young because he was dead at 38. After completing the piece, dedicated to his violin teacher Eduard Rietz, Mendelssohn gave him the score as a birthday present on October 17, 1825. Rietz copied out all of the parts and it was quickly performed in an informal family gathering. Rietz lived an even shorter life. Tuberculosis got him at age 30.... Read More

September 16th, 2022

Rachel's' 'Music For Egon Schiele' Floats Above Cliche

From the archives: You’ll feel this the first play and you’ll play it repeatedly

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)Rachel’s’ 1995 release Handwriting LP (Quarterstick 30 LP) is on my top 10 of ‘95 list and this enchanting record may end up on the ‘96 list. The music here was composed by pianist Rachel Grimes for a dance and theater piece based on the life of turn of the century Viennese painter Egon Schiele.The stage work was written and directed by Stephan Mazurek for Chicago’s Itinerant Theater Guild, which he heads. The... Read More