European Chaos String Quintet

European Chaos String Quintet

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This quintet is literally one of the strangest groupings of string musicians in recent memory -- at least on record. Adding a second cello to the string quartet configuration and then playing a wholly improvised music comprised almost completely of short pieces and employing the human voice in those improvisations is different, to say the least. When the vast majority of a program made up of 16 selections is almost inaudible because of a dynamic restraint to the left of, say, Morton Feldman, this is downright radical. Both the greatest gift and biggest drawback of the music found on this disc recorded in 1992 is its virtual inaudibility. It can be considered a gift because the control these five players exert over their chosen instruments is total and unwavering, even when the emotion in a particular work is nerve-rackingly tense. The drawback is that, without the flash of force, other subtleties are lost in the ether of the recording studio. While this music is quiet, it is by no means ambient or purely atmospheric. It is compositionally and structurally highly sophisticated, and thankfully cannot be enjoyed as "background music."

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