Danish String Quartet – Last Leaf

lastleafIn the world of string quartets, the new kids on the block are the Danish String Quartet. I know. I know! What scandal. What will the Emerson String Quartet think? With their grey, white, and thinning hair accompanying that thick and throaty, and somehow pretentious, New York cough, how are they supposed to respond to these 30 something motherfuckers trying to fuck with their shit? Is Eugene Drucker going to have to slap a bitch? Or what about Kronos Quartet? Will they get all Kanye about not getting the spotlight for half a second and suddenly cry and wail and throw their shit around like circus animals? Let’s hope not. This is the world of string quartets after all. 

You may think that string quartets have a certain refinement around them, or that you’re supposed to know all this shit about music before you listen to them. But this just isn’t true. String quartets are all about that feeling man. Guts and shit. Sure, there is this whole world surrounding classical music that sounds as fun as using an old dried wooden dildo you found in your grandmother’s barn last Halloween, but just chill. Throw it on. Feel it out. I bet you’ll even like it. 

So, this album is made to be listened through. This ain’t your latest pop album where you only listen to song 3, 5, and 7 over and over. It’s a full fucking album. So I suggest listening through the way it was intended to be heard.

The Danish Quartet has decided to take on traditional music. What the fuck does traditional music mean? It means like old traditional folk music. Hymns and shit. But they take such a cool fucking approach in doing it. Nothing about this album sounds old or dated. It doesn’t even sound like traditional music. It sounds like a contemporary quartet playing really interesting and new songs with a fuckton of heart. Like, Beethoven heart. That shit where you simultaneously feel like raging a war against some terrible power and crying at the same time. That real fire and water shit. Then you get other songs where you feel an uplifting Irish jig of some sort, but the shit is so intelligent that the jig must be danced next to Da Vinci as he rides in his foot-powered helicopter. Peddle away you bearded beauty.

These traditional songs are broken up by songs written by the quartet. These songs are the glue and nails that hold this structure together. And it’s fucking beautiful. These players know each other in the way only a quartet can. They understand the exact second that bow is going to move. They understand the slight vibrato that’s going to come from the viola at that precise moment. They’ve practised. They’ve perfected. These are at least four lives dedicated solely to the art of this, and you can tell they just fucking love it. They will transport you somewhere else. You can close your eyes and picture an empty auditorium with you sitting front and centre as they play these songs. It’s fucking great.

 

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