Actually this is a kind of “Best Of” – to avoid the even further disagreeable term of “Greatest Hits” – while the music is absolutely valuable, and this is a proper opportunity to bring to the attention the Balanescu Quartet for those who do not know them yet.
Alexander Balanescu in 1979 became leader of the Mychael Nyman Ensemble and toured with the group for 15 years. During the same period he also was member of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble. After another 4 years of work left the Arditti Quartet in 1987 to form his own quartet – the Balanescu Quartet. Along the way collaborators have included Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Ornette Coleman, Peter Greenaway, David Byrne, the Pet Shop Boys, Spiritualized, Kate Bush and Kraftwerk, and they has gone on to acquire a reputation as one of the world’s leading contemporary music groups.
The Balanescu Quartet rose to fame through the release of several complex re-interpretations of songs by Kraftwerk and collaborations with Michael Nyman, David Byrne and Goldfrapp amongs others. Well, the Balanescu Quartet are not an average string quartet as we get used to. But this is definitively 55 minutes of excitement and joy.
In a world of fake tomatoes, fake apples, fake identities and fake lives, in a world of plastic and counterfeited tastes, smells and sounds, even notions such as indie and avant-garde lost their sense. Almost – or – with (extremely) few exceptions. The Balanescu Quartet is definitively one of these very few exceptions.
This collection, released on 22 August 2011, illustrates the Balanescu Quartet’s unique musical versatility and creativity across their four releases on Mute.
01 – Aria (from the album “Maria T”, 2005)
02 – Autobahn (from the album “Possessed”, 1992)
03 – Coppice (from the soundtrack “Angels and Insects”, 1995)
04 – East (from the album “Luminitza”, 1994)
05 – Wine’s so good (from the album “Maria T”, 2005)
06 – The Model (from the album “Possessed”, 1992)
07 – Revolution (from the album “Luminitza”, 1994)
08 – Waltz (from the soundtrack “Angels and Insects”, 1995)
09 – The young conscript and the moon (from the album “Maria T”, 2005)
10 – Still with me (from the album “Luminitza”, 1994)
11 – Love scene (from the soundtrack “Angels and Insects”, 1995)
12 – Pocket Calculator (from the album “Possessed”, 1992)
Balanescu says : “It has been interesting putting together an album with all these different elements. Maybe, after all, there is an underlying unity to this music.”
It’s a quite interesting and exciting listening in deed.