Friday, May 12, 2017

Quatuor Ebène - Eternal Stories (WARNER CLASSICS 2017)

The New York Times has described the French ensemble as “a string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band” and its recordings of Haydn, Bartók, Brahms and Schubert have been praised all over the world. Portal and the Ébène first played together in Paris in 2013, where Piazzolla’s compositions were also on the programme, prompting Le Monde to speak of “a significant lesson, a superb encounter, a real conversation.”

Eternal Stories might just turn out to be one of the best albums that Portal has ever recorded. He could well have been thinking of his beloved Charlie Parker, who in 1949 realised his dream of making a recording with a string section. Eternal Stories is not some kind of attempt at a remake, but comprises completely new pieces and two new arrangements of classic Portal numbers, a late work by Piazzolla and astonishing contributions from members of Quatuor Ébène itself.

01. City Birds 7:53
02. L'Abandonite 7:38
03. Judy Garland 4:21
04. Élucubration 4:19
05. Eternal Story 6:21
06. 5 Tango Sensations: I. Asleep 4:48
07. 5 Tango Sensations: II. Loving 5:23
08. 5 Tango Sensations: III. Anxiety 5:22
09. Plus l'Temps 3:12
10. Solitudes 5:15
11. Le Corbillon 5:26
12. It was nice living here 8:47