American Record Guide

Lydia Kakabadse is a contemporary composer of Russian and Greek ancestry whose music as portrayed here is entirely written in modal minor keys. Most of it is for violin, viola, cello & double bass—an interesting combination. The only pieces scored otherwise are the two songs, ‘Spellbound’ (text by Emily Bronte) and ‘Eldorado’ (Edgar Allen Poe). These are sung with beauty by Jess Dandy and accompanied by the quartet. Concertino is an 11-minute work for cello and bass viol in four movements lasting about 12 minutes.

All of this music was written between 2004 and 2015, though you wouldn’t guess that to hear it. It is distinctly influenced by styles of the Renaissance and seems almost totally modal. These musicians of the Sound Collec­tive play it with beauty of tone and conviction. If the unvaried style attracts you, go for it! It attracted me at first, but it is too much in gloomy minor modes to keep my attention.

—David W. Moore