The Ariel Quartet, distinguished by its virtuosic playing and impassioned interpretations, makes its debut recording pairing two giants of the string-quartet world, Bela Bartok and Johannes Brahms. Both composers stand as significant pillars of the youthful Quartet’s two-decade-long journey. The Ariel Quartet earned its glowing international reputation early on, having formed in Israel when its members were students in middle school. The Ariel now serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music Debut. This release is the first in a projected series pairing the quartets of Bartok and Brahms. “…a blazing, larger-than-life performance…” (The Washington Post) “…the sum of the quartet is indeed greater than its parts…”(The Strad)
Ariel was an Australian progressive rock band based around the duo Mike Rudd and Bill Putt, who formed the band in 1973 after the breakup of their previous group Spectrum. As he had done many times before and would continue to do throughout his 40-year career, Mike Rudd rose to the occasion delivering the vibrant 'Rock & Roll Scars', made up of re-recorded versions of Spectrum and early Ariel material with three new songs he'd somehow had time to write.
The original lineup of Ariel was a genuine 'supergroup', combining key members from two of Australia's leading progressive bands of the period: Rudd, Putt and Mills hailed from Melbourne's legendary Spectrum, Gaze and Macara from Spectrum's esteemed Sydney peers Tamam Shud. Lead guitarist Tim Gaze, regarded as one of the hottest players on the scene, had also joined Shud at just 16 and by the time he joined Ariel he had also been a member of Kahvas Jute, and played on their only album, the brilliant Wide Open. "A Strange Fantastic Dream in December" was their excellent first LP. Lovingly re-mastered classic Ariel album on Spectrum’s own Rare Vision label with bonus track "Red Hot Momma".