Lauren Newton

Timbre Plus

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AllMusic Review by

For its second opus, the vocal quartet is joined -- although separately -- by three musicians who have over the years been associated with Lauren Newton. All the ingredients that made its predecessor such a success -- group effort, invention instead of acrobatics -- are still present. Bringing in other musicians, not to mention Bertl Muetter's trombone, enables the singers to at least break the routine. Depending on the setting, the guest instrumentalists either give some support or try to blend in, acting as a fifth voice. The mood, pace, and intensity vary from one piece to the other and sometimes within the same composition. Léandre's muscular and dark arco adds poignancy and depth. Fritz Hauser is just as comfortable setting the tone as adding drama. His thunderous crescendo on "Percussive Moments I" counts among the disc's highlights. As for Urs Leimgruber, the saxophonist is the one who makes the greatest effort to blend in, but when necessary he also masterfully underlines the work of the quartet. The four voices are so different that the quartet can create layers of sound and rich textures. They should also be praised for their relentless efforts at avoiding formulas and repetitions, which over the course of a full program is quite an achievement. Once again, this is music making that proves that avant-garde or new music does not have to be austere and can be utterly entertaining.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 9:17
2 5:53
3 4:18
4 3:25
5 4:11
6 2:52
7 3:54
8 3:15
9 2:56
10 4:21
11 3:41
12 3:55
13 5:50
blue highlight denotes track pick