The Brodsky Quartet

Moodswings

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This is not a crossover record. There is nowhere for the Brodsky Quartet to cross over to because the Brodsky has already been there. It has already been through all Shostakovich's quartets. The group has already created a song cycle with Elvis Costello. So when the Brodsky records here with Sting and Björk and Meredith Monk, it's not as if it's making a crossover record. It's just the Brodsky making a record. As a record, Moodswings shines brightly on each track and coheres brilliantly as a whole. From the setting of Sting's "Until..." to Björk's "I've Seen It All" to Monk's "Gotham Lullaby," every performance is sweet, swinging, and soulful. But when framed by Brodsky and Costello performing Costello's own manic "Moodswings" plus Randy Newman's affecting "Real Emotional Girl" set to the Adagio from Beethoven's A minor String Quartet, Moodswings is an exciting, introspective, and above all, cogent record. The sound of the Brodsky Quartet on Brodsky Records is astonishingly present and real. When Costello whispers the last word of "Real Emotional Girl," he might as well be whispering in your ear.

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