Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Atmospheric and evocative

From November 12, 2013:


The String Quartet Meta4 play together only on the final piece in this excellent CD of music by one of the world's greatest living composers, Kaija Saariaho. Otherwise, each of these splendid musicians gets an opportunity to show off their skills alone or in various combinations, together with Anna Laakso's piano, and electronics by Marko Myohanen and the composer Kaija Saariaho. Though this music is written for intimate combinations, there is no lack of seriousness, complexity and breadth. Saariaho is well know for pieces for large orchestra or operatic ensemble, and her powerful themes and musical vision carry over to these works, which represent the entire range of her music from the 1980s to today. Some might be intimidated by Saariaho's beginnings at IRCAM in Paris, worrying that this will be overly cerebral and representing some 'system' of composition. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is pretty accessible music; atmospheric and evocative. An amazing CD!

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