Classically trained multi-instrumentalist Sacha Puttnam joins electronica artist Chris Coco for this update of the classical-music canon. REMASTERPIECE contains compositions by Robert Schumann, Gustav Mahler, Fryderyk Chopin, and Claude Debussy, among others, as well as 20th-century, proto-ambient composers like Erik Satie and Arvo Part. Coco and Puttnam are quite faithful to the originals in spirit and in execution, and the entire album radiates with an ambient glow.
Spare, minimal compositions (like Satie's "Berceuse" and Chopin's "Raindrop Prelude") are played with grace on solo piano, while symphonic pieces (like Mahler's "Adagietto") are filtered through lush synth textures. Gabriel Yared's "Chili Con Carne (Theme from Betty Blue)" may seem like a surprise inclusion, but it fits nicely alongside the set's more hallowed titles. In large part, REMASTERPIECE is an homage to the great classical composers, but it also--in its deft arrangements and synth treatments--gives the music a contemporary sheen that is novel and enjoyable.