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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The music of all the small places

From February 3, 2015:


I first came across the Danish String Quartet last fall in a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music website. They were playing some of the tunes from this excellent new Dacapo CD Wood Works. The music had a pleasing, sweet sound, and I found the four musicians unaffected and charming, completely in tune with the ancient folk music of the islands and forests of Scandinavia. This string quartet repertoire is a nice change for those of us used to Beethoven, Brahms and Zemlinsky. It will appeal as well, I think, to fans of various flavours of roots revival. This deceptively simple music can pack an emotional punch. There is often a deep sadness built in; even the celebratory Sonderho Bridal Trilogy sounds wistful and longing, and some of the fast songs with fiddles have a manic edge. Folk music, says the excellent liner notes, is the music of all the small places. This CD is an earnest, joyous and honest expression of the genius of those small places and their people.

Here, from the Festival Wissembourg, September 6th 2014, is the group playing music from the CD:


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