For all the agony as to the status of classical music in the modern musical landscape, the three 20th century string quartets on this fine French release can be said to have entered the repertory, with a reach that extends far beyond the U.S. They go quite well together, which is the first point in favor of France's Quatuor Diotima here; both Steve Reich's Different Trains, for string quartet and tape, and George Crumb's Black Angels for electric quartet feature an artificially enhanced string quartet, and even Samuel Barber elected to "enhance" his String Quartet in B minor, Op. 11, by orchestrating its central movement and making it into the famous Adagio for strings. Highly recommended.
This collection of music for guitar, brought together by Jose Luis Bieito as the musical element of his music+image binomis, Reflections, possesses a delightful balance of sounds. These are flowing, pulsing, mostly gentle sounds that tend to soothe and calm the listener's mind. Sounds that - through a variety of compositional techniques - tend to be sustained in time; the effects of which can sometimes capture a listener’s attention, holding it inside an extended musical moment, like a spell. When heard while viewing the accompanying (provocative, sometimes disturbing) images, the sounds can serve an additional function: grounding the listener's reaction, enabling the passage of emotion; like electricity discharging through a lightening rod.