Da Capo Chamber Players / Vitamin String Quartet

The String Quartet Tribute to Sarah McLachlan

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The String Quartet Tribute to Sarah McLachlan Review

by Johnny Loftus

The String Quartet Tribute to Sarah Mclachlan features nine of the ethereal Canadian performer's songs, focusing on material from the 1993 breakthrough Fumbling Towards Ecstacy and its 1997 follow-up, Surfacing. The versions here are performed on violin, viola, cello, and bass, and do not feature vocals. The music lends itself relatively well to this format, though the songs do suffer a bit in the mood department without McLachlan's distinctive voice to guide them. "Sweet Surrender" is a standout, as is the sweeping "Full of Grace," which seems to be in slow motion, like sunflower petals floating in a breeze. The uncredited percussion on "Possession" is particularly effective. A misstep is an odd effect on "Ice" that's either a processed (and eerie) human voice or a mysterious instrumental effect. Either way, it's unsettling, falling as it does in the middle of an album made up entirely of romantic instrumentals. The collection also includes two pieces composed by the musicians performing here. While they're pleasant enough, it's odd to include material not attributed to McLachlan on a record dedicated specifically to her.

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