Arrangments for string quartet of: Gershwin, Kern, Thiele, Maschwitz, Ellington, Brown, Berlin, Schwartz

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COMPOSERS: Arrangments for string quartet of: Gershwin,Berlin,Brown,Ellington,Kern,Maschwitz,Schwartz,Thiele
LABELS: Landor
ALBUM TITLE: Someone To Watch Over Me
WORKS: find works
PERFORMER: Pavão Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: LAN 277
These days it’s hard to imagine

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crossover music minus the glitzy

packaging that bedecks most glossy

magazines. This CD of imaginative

quartet arrangements of popular

numbers by Gershwin, Kern and

Berlin et al is no exception. A bevy

of beauties adorn the disc’s cover,

cynics no doubt easily misled into

thinking of this as yet another

obvious marketing ploy. Yet the

talented Pavão Quartet never resort

to superficial gimmicks, offering

playing that is extremely assured

with a meticulous sense of ensemble

captured in a warmly ambient

recording. In fact I would go so far as

to say that the preparation for some

of the arrangements is so thorough

that at times it impedes a spontaneity

that might have resulted had these

encores been recorded at a live venue.

Still, the programme is sufficiently

varied in mood and tempo to make

for very agreeable background

listening. Some of the arrangements

are particularly ingenious, not only

presenting an infinite range of

textures and effects, but in the case

of ‘A nightingale sang in Berkeley

Square’ appropriately allowing bits

of Vaughan Williams’s The Lark

Ascending to enter into the musical

argument. I’d love to know why the

first bars of Wagner’s Meistersinger

Overture precede a version of Berlin’s

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‘Cheek to Cheek’. Erik Levi