Samuel Clay Birmaher | The Body of the Conqueror

The second movement of this remarkable composition for four violins and piano sounds to me like a Bartók nocturne turned inside-out, or a middle-period Beethoven pastoral in light of the Industrial Revolution: placid (after a manner), sprawling, and perhaps a bit dangerous and obsessive.

It was recorded in a chapel at Cornell University in the shadow of the famous chimes tower. I am told that they were muted for the duration of the recital thanks to Mr. Birmaher's status as a Chimesmaster.

I am indebted to the excellent article by Michael Williams entitled "The Stereophonic Zoom" for the precise imaging and convincing sense of space in this recording -- some of which is lost, of course, due to mp3 compression. Never mind! The music speaks regardless.

I present here an excerpt which I hope gives some sense of the proportions of the movement as a whole.