I wondered what this CD was all about and was none the wiser
after I started
listening to it. The first track isn’t for string quartet at all but some
kind of orchestra, playing the kind of music one used to hear in 1950s British
films when music was required for scenes in the Indian sub-continent. What we
have here is a kind of belly dance with rhythm section. Karl Jenkins’s
starts with almost 60 seconds of female vocalising before
the orchestra - this is a string quartet CD isn’t it? - starts. She cannot
be silenced - indeed, she never shuts up and the result is rather like a poorly
performed Bachianas Brasileiras
, where the singer is unsure as to where
she is going.
Two pieces by Mauricio Yazigi come next. Yazigi is a Chilean composer and, according
to his website, having “… reached the highest of musical levels.
Mauricio decided to bring his craft to a larger stage and came to the USA in
2003”. Lucky larger stage. Roads
is a poor pop song without words
and Fading Away
doesn’t; rather it’s a pop song with the usual
banal words one expects from this kind of ephemera. Mind you, the string quartet
writing is quite good in the central instrumental section.
She is Like the Swallow
is a folk-song in a lovely arrangement for voice,
well sung here by Fionnuala Gill, and string quartet. This is unaffected, totally
unpretentious and makes a nice change from what has gone before. The Woods
a simple pop song sung with too much vibrato by Giorgia Fumanti, but the quartet
writing is quite nice. The Boy and the Rose
is a lacklustre slow waltz
which is neither a pastiche nor a homage to an earlier time, certainly it could
have been written at any time in the past 100 years.
John Courduvelis’s Like it is
is another pop song, this time
as well as the quartet - it’s in there somewhere - there’s a “rock
instrumentation” performed by Common Thrill, which I assume is a beat combo.
Courduvelis undertakes the vocals himself and we could be listening to poor Jim
Morrison or David Bowie without his trademark lazy slurring delivery. For me,
this was the low point of the CD. Caccini’s Ave Maria
century treatment with guitar and the dueting voices of
Fumanti and Gill. It is a delight to hear Gill’s unaffected voice. But
the pseudo pop treatment is unappealing.
Although I was never a Beatles fan I was heartily grateful finally to reach Hey
, knowing that the end was near. This arrangement features some wobbly
singing, and questionable diction, from Agustin Simon, not to mention his trying
to hit notes which are clearly beyond him - a typical experience for a pop singer.
I have a question. Exactly who is this disk aimed at? It cannot be the classical
music listening public for there is nothing here which could possibly be for
those people. Is it perhaps an attempt to classical-up (sex-down perhaps) pop
music type things into pseudo-classical works so that kids might start listening
to the Beethoven Symphonies. Or is it a cynical attempt by some people to try
and create art which is so highflown that we mere mortals simply cannot grasp
and understand what is going on? My opinion? It’s pseudo-intellectual claptrap
and it’s worthless. This disk might find an audience somewhere, but if
I were you I’d give it a wide berth for I can find no redeeming features