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Moodswings / Brodsky Quartet


Release Date: 04/26/2005 
Label:  Asv   Catalog #: 3501   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Elvis CostelloEmma LudlowRandy Newman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brodsky String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Strikingly fresh and spontaneous in impact. "Crossover novelty," I hear you thinking. It isn’t, though – this is something genuinely different.

Moodswings is the distillation of a three-year educational project intitiated by the Brodsky Quartet, aimed at getting schoolchildren to write music for voice and string quartet. The Brodsky has been this way before: The Juliet Letters, its 1993 collaboration with Elvis Costello, was a pioneering effort in composing for this unusual combination. Costello surfaces again in this new collection, contributing the spiky (klezmer-cum-Shostakovich) title track and a poignant take on Randy Newman’s ‘Real Emotional Girl’. Other big names also feature – Sting’s typically suave
Read more and tasteful vocal over the Brodsky’s pizzicatobased accompaniment on ‘Until’ is one highlight, Björk’s insinuatingly neurotic ‘I’ve Seen It All’ is another. The heart of this CD, however, lies in the teenage contributions (sung by professionals), which are strikingly fresh and spontaneous in impact. ‘The Abyss’ (Kate Curtis/Will South), for instance, convincingly sets the dying Purcellian fall of its outer framework against a disturbingly agitated centre. Humour and wry relational observations, by contrast, dominate ‘Venus Flytrap’, a jerkily minimalistic offering by Blatchington Mill School pupils. Emma Tillyer’s ‘When Darkness Comes’ (soaring vocal, creepy quartet noodlings in the undergrowth) is another standout selection. ‘Crossover novelty’, I hear you thinking. It isn’t, though – this is something genuinely different.

-- Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1. My Mood Swings by Elvis Costello
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brodsky String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
2. Shallow Footsteps by Emma Ludlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brodsky String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
3. Real Emotional Girl by Randy Newman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brodsky String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 

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