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Amazing Grace



Amazing Grace

M·F 23

Liner Notes



Amazing Grace

Ben Johnston/Lyris Quartet

World Premiere recording of BEN JOHNSTON’S last composition – OCTET: “Ashokan Farewell” featuring Lyris Quartet, who also plays his Quartet #9 and the world’s favorite, Quartet #4: Amazing Grace.

“More than 20 years ago, the music critic John Rockwell described Ben Johnston in the New York Times as ‘one of the best nonfamous composers this country has to offer.’ What has changed is that Johnston is now, I’d suggest, our best nonfamous composer.” Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

“Graciously experimental in his early years and simply gracious in later ones….tunings take on the character of detours into intriguing territories, familiar but fantastical. Microtonal harmonies open doors of the tune and the timbres. The (Octet) melody is no longer a farewell but a welcome mat to the ears to come inside. I am unable to describe just how moving this sense of belonging made by music can be, but I sensed an aura of sublimity all around me.” — Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times