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ClassicsOnline Home » DANISH STRING QUARTET: Wood Works
A Real Gem
I like "chamber music" but I rarely listen to it, preferring instead the sound of a full orchestra. But when I sampled this CD on ClassicsOnline, I was hooked almost immediately, and by the preview of the fourth track had even started, I had to have it.
It is difficult to classify, let alone describe this music. Most often, collections of "traditional" folk music come off sounding shallow and even contrived. This CD is a huge exception. I could best describe the experience of hearing it with a few simple words such as enjoyable, humorous, fascinating, peaceful, etc.
The music presented here does not "demand" to be listened to, rather, one cannot overcome the need to listen to it from beginning to end. Excellent arrangements from start to finish (no pun intended) and most of the time, the string quartet doesn't even sound like a quartet.
The music ranges in character from almost avant-garde (but never unapproachable) to something that nearly resembles American Bluegrass. This is hands down one of the most enjoyable and worthwhile "discoveries" I have made in the past year. Buy it. Listen to it. Enjoy it. You will want to share it with others.more....
Wonderful folk music played by an excellent string quartet!
This recording is essentially a collection of folk tunes arranged for string quartet. These tunes were selected by members of the group, and they are played with obvious love and warmth, utilizing the wonderful communicative possibilities present in the quartet organism. The premise, expressed by the notes of the group is, “Now we want to see what happens when we let the Nordic folk music flow through the wooden instruments of the string quartet. Does it work?”
The first track, “Ye Honest Bridal Couple”, part one of a trilogy, is airy and lonely and captivating. It is definitely attention getting. The second track, “Sekstur from Vendsyssel/The Peat Dance”, is a Danish reel tune and if it doesn’t get your foot tapping then you should check your pulse and make sure it’s still going. Track 4, “Waltz after Lasse in Lyby” harkens back to a traveling fiddler named Lasse who was known for playing this lovely little waltz. Track 5, “Ribers #8”, is a Danish polka and it is just a happy treat to listen to. Particularly charming is Track 7, “Five Sheep, Four Goats”, which has a bit of a back and forth sing-song quality to it. Track 11, “Jasspodspolska”, is a polska from the region of Dalarna in Sweden and it is marvelous. And Track 13, “Sonderho Bridal Trilogy – Part III” is a fitting close to the disc, slow and sweet, with just a hint of somberness, fading away gently.
This disc has spent quite a bit of time in my CD player since I got it. The music is delightful and soulful, and the quality of the performance is exemplary. Does it work? Oh yes – it works indeed. Very highly recommended!more....
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DANISH STRING QUARTET: Wood Works