Michael Nyman String Quartets 1-3

October 1, 2005 at 10:42 am 1 comment

First ran into Nyman though the work of Peter Greenway. I think it might have been The Falls that got me, but Nyman didn’t score that (eno, faust, and other provided most of the soundtrack to the falls which is well worth hunting down and no complete soundtrack to it has been released). But Nyman’s other works has a frantic neurotic quality to it so inspired it at times seems to be pacing away the carpet under it’s feet. But here’s the problem, I can’t really remember what Nyman originally sounded like to me. I know I heard him, and I remember the frantic violon and all that, but what the exact piece I head was I still don’t know. So String Quartets 1-3 is another Nyman I’ve bought recently hoping to eventually found the first track I heard (which increasingly seems like a fudged fragment of what is probably a completely different piece.). It’s more complicated than his soundtracks, eschewing motifs, letting Balanescu branch out and while Balanescu always seems to be abusing the violin in some strangely sexual way summoning moans of exhaustation and inspiration 3 Quartets isn’t really a fucking intense as other Nymans. Greenway’s films never seem complete emotionally, like McCarthy he cruises a point in the sub-conscious you probably don’t always wanna go to. The abgect or the grotesque always ways in on Nyman’s music and somehow Balanescu’s playing seems like some top of over the top perversion, as if the strings are cuming in the music at hand. But 3 Quartets does manage to avoid this, if anything Nyman seems to have put on his finest clothes and proceeded to take that entire symphony thing a bit more seriously. This is more classical than a lot of Nyman while still relying on his heavy blows of romantic out-burst and the ability to throw up a defensible compisition, but it’s perhaps more fullfilling. Nyman here has taken a step back from simple minimalism and produced a more full bodied work.

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