Edgar Meyer

The Best of Edgar Meyer

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This collection features selections from eight of bass player Edgar Meyer's most popular albums made for Sony. It includes mostly Meyer's own compositions written for himself and friends, as well as his arrangements of folk pieces and transcriptions of classical works, and is an excellent introduction to the diversity of his interests and the range of his skills as a performer and composer. As a performer, Meyer is remarkable on a number of fronts, particularly in his fluency and versatility in moving between classical music and the worlds of folk, bluegrass, and roots music, and in the timbral range he coaxes out of one of the most unwieldy instruments. Meyer's own music blends folk traditions with some of the conventions of classical music. He sticks to a basically tonal/modal harmonic language, with enough rhythmic patterning to keep the listener oriented, but within those parameters he uses a variety of sophisticated compositional techniques that keep the music lively, surprising, and engaging without sounding modernist or complex. In his own compositions, he is joined by such diverse artists as violinists Joshua Bell and Mark O'Connor, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolin player Mike Marshall, banjo player Béla Fleck, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. His performances of the classical repertoire are models of full, pure tone quality and interpretive intensity. In his own works and in the folk pieces, he employs a much broader range of tonal colors, special effects, and expressive extremes, as is fitting for the material. The sound quality varies from track to track since the selections are taken from a number of albums, some studio and some live, but the sound is often excellent and never less than satisfactory.

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