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Jethro Tull The String Quartets: Album Of Tull Classics Performed By A String Quartet. Released March 2017

14 December 2016 Music News Recommends



Jethro Tull The String Quartets


A massive treat for Jethro Tull fans and classical aficionados alike: Jethro Tull The String Quartets is an album of classic Jethro Tull repertoire, imaginatively arranged for Classical string quartet with the flute, guitar and vocals of songwriter and producer IAN ANDERSON, it will be released on 24th March 2017 by BMG.

Today, December 5th, “Pass The Bottle (A Christmas Song)” is released as a single.  This track will be an instant grat track with album pre-orders and can be downloaded.  It’s available on streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple music now:


iTunes link:




Apple Music:



Also today (5th December) Jethro Tull The String Quartets launch a Pledge Music campaign where fans can pre-order product, purchase signed CDs and Vinyl LPs.


For some time, Ian (Jethro Tull frontman and virtuoso flautist) and John O’Hara (keyboard player with Tull and Anderson) had discussed the prospect of a specially conceived album of classic Jethro Tull repertoire orchestrated for a string quartet.  Ian & John first saw the Carducci Quartet at the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO St Luke’s and, mesmerised by the group’s symbiotic relationship which results in their playing as one single musical organism, Ian invited them to take part in the recording.  The Carducci Quartet are:

 Matthew Denton         Violin

Michelle Fleming        Violin

Eoin Schmidt-Martin   Viola

Emma Denton            Cello

Two violins, a viola and a cello make up that perfect combination of instruments that is the string quartet. Composers such as Beethoven, Bartók and Britten have written for it, and Anderson’s music is reborn in this format.  With judicious additions of flute, acoustic guitar and mandolin along with a few vocal sections, this album offers Tull fans the opportunity to enjoy familiar melodies and songs within the styling and traditions of Classical Music.

Ian, who is no stranger to working with orchestras, says: “John and I have worked on various orchestrations and performed many orchestral concerts over the last fifteen years. So, a couple of years ago, I came up with the idea of recording a dedicated string quartet album in a contemporary but “Classical” setting with brief appearances from myself. I felt that there were some songs rather special to me which featured the string quartet such as A Christmas Song, Reasons For Waiting and Wond’ring Aloud. These were my first experiences of working with a quartet. John came up with a few suggestions of his own which presented challenges.  All had an intimacy and presence which I looked forward to recapturing in the cosy and very personal space of my office desk where I did the overdubs.”

About his approach to the orchestration, John explains, “There seemed little point in transcribing the band parts and distributing them to the players. I felt a responsibility to delve deeper and offer a new imagining of each piece. An orchestrator’s job is to arrange and compose a new version of an existing work. However, I also felt a responsibility to the Jethro Tull listeners who cherish this material and may not welcome a radical rendition of a beloved song. My ambition was to create a thought-provoking album that remains true to Ian’s compositions.”

Ian concludes, “It has really been a lot of fun to work on this project. The Carducci Quartet provided a spirited and committed performance, without which all would have been futile. And, I only had to pay for lunch once as they brought sandwiches. Bless.”

After poring over the entire Tull catalogue, Ian & John decided on the following selection of songs.  Different from the original recordings, Ian has given some new cryptic titles.

Available on CD and Vinyl (Gatefold) as well as Mp3/M4A and uncompressed hi-definition 24/96 WAV files.

CD – Tracklisting:-


Song title                                                                                                                        Album                                                                 Year                     

1.          In The Past (Living In The Past)                                                           Stand Up                                                           1969

2.          Sossity Waiting (Sossity: You’re a Woman/Reasons For Waiting)         Stand Up/Benefit                1969/70

3.          Bungle (Bungle In The Jungle)                                                            Warchild                                                            1974

4.          We Used To Bach (We Used to Know/Bach Prelude C Major)    Stand Up                                               1969

5.          Farm, The Fourway (Farm On The Freeway)                                       Crest of A Knave                                1987

6.          Songs and Horses (Songs From The Wood/Heavy Horses)                  (Album title tracks)                  1977/78

7.          Only The Giving (Wond’ring Aloud)                                                      Aqualung                                                     1971

8.          Loco (Locomotive Breath)                                                                    Aqualung                                                            1971

9.          Pass The Bottle (A Christmas Song)                                                     Living In The Past                                    1971

10.       Velvet Green (Velvet Green)                                                               Songs From The Wood                             1977

11.       Ring Out These Bells (Ring Out, Solstice Bells)                                  Songs From The Wood                  1977

12.       Aquafugue (Aqualung)                                                                         Aqualung                                                            1971

Vinyl Gatefold Release – Tracklisting:-


Side 1

1.     In The Past (Living In The Past)                                                             Stand Up                             1969

2.     Sossity Waiting (Sossity: You’re a Woman/Reasons For Waiting)           Stand Up/Benefit            1969/70

3.     Bungle (Bungle In The Jungle)                                                              Warchild                              1974

4.     Ring Out These Bells (Ring Out, Solstice Bells)                                     Songs From The Wood        1977

Side 2

1.     Farm, The Fourway (Farm On The Freeway)                                         Crest of A Knave                  1987

2.     We Used To Bach (We Used to Know/Bach Prelude C Major)                Stand Up                             1969

3.     Velvet Green (Velvet Green)                                                                  Songs From The Wood        1977

4.     Pass The Bottle (A Christmas Song)                                                       Living In The Past               1971


Side 3                                                                                                                                                            

1.     Loco (Locomotive Breath)                                                                      Aqualung                             1971

2.     Only The Giving (Wond’ring Aloud)                                                        Aqualung                             1971

3.     Songs and Horses (Songs From The Wood/Heavy Horses)                    (Album title tracks)          1977/78

4.     Aquafugue (Aqualung)                                                                           Aqualung                             1971

Side 4 

Pictorial printed art.

Genre: Classical, Classical Cross-over – Album Formats: CD; 2LP, Digital


 FORMAT                          CAT. NO.                                    BARCODE

CD                               538257472                              4050538257472

2LP                              538257530                              4050538257533

The album was recorded in the crypt of Worcester Cathedral and in St Kenelm’s Church, Sapperton, Gloucestershire

All tracks performed by The Carducci Quartet, with additional performances as follows:

Living In The Past                                               Ian Anderson, flute.

Sossity, You’re A Woman/Reasons For Waiting.   Ian Anderson, flute & vocals. John O’Hara Piano

Bungle In The Jungle                                         Ian Anderson, flute.

We Used To Know/Bach Prelude Flute               Ian Anderson, flute & vocals.

Farm On The Freeway                                         Ian Anderson, flute..

Songs From The Wood/Heavy Horses                  Carducci Quartet alone.

Wond’ring Aloud                                                  Ian Anderson, guitar & vocals.

Loco Breath                                                        Ian Anderson, flute.

A Christmas Song                                                Ian Anderson, flute, mandolin & vocals.

Velvet Green                                                       Carducci Quartet alone.

Ring Out, Solstice Bells                                      Ian Anderson, flute and vocals.

Aquafugue                                                          Ian Anderson, flute & vocals. John O’Hara, Celeste & Piano.

Recording Engineer:   John O’Hara.

Mixed by                      John O’Hara and Ian Anderson.

Produced by                Ian Anderson for Calliandra Productions.

Mastered By                 Nick Watson at Fluid Mastering, London

All tracks* based on original songs written by Ian Anderson,

with additional material composed and orchestrated by John O’Hara

*Aqualung lyrics by Jennie Franks.

Prelude in C Major, J. S. Bach with development by Ian Anderson



Winners of international competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild International Competition 2007 and Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition, this Anglo-Irish quartet has appeared at prestigious venues across the globe including the Wigmore Hall, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; Carnegie Hall, New York and Library of Congress and John F Kennedy Center, Washington DC.  Festival appearances include Cheltenham Music Festival, Festival Messiaen au pays Meije, West Cork Chamber Music festival, Kuhmo Festival and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland.  The Carducci Quartet are highly celebrated for their interpretation of contemporary repertoire, the Carducci Quartet is regularly invited to perform new works.

Ian Anderson talking about this project:



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