December 12, 2017
Danish Quartet's Last Leaf Among NPR's 50 Best Albums of 2017

The Danish String Quartet's latest release on ECM records, Last Leaf, has made NPR's list of 50 Best Albums of 2017:

You don't have to be a Scandinavian musicologist to fall in love with Last Leaf, the Danish String Quartet's new album of Nordic folk songs and dances. The fact that the atmospheric "Drømte mig en drøm" (I Dreamed a Dream) is over 700 years old and the rollicking "Stædelil" is based on a Faroese medieval ballad later reworked by Beethoven is not as important as the fluency and grace that infuses these blithesome performances. In the quartet's eloquent, but not overworked, arrangements, you can hear the shuffling feet of dancers and wheezy bagpipes. "Æ Rømeser," from the Danish island of Fanø, mesmerizes, as the whirl of a polka meets a wistful melody. The band stays busy playing Brahms and Haydn — and even contemporary composers like Thomas Adès and Hans Abrahamsen, featured on a superb album released last year. But when it comes to the simple idea of a classical string quartet performing folk tunes, the Danish musicians have exceeded all expectations. —Tom Huizenga

Click to view the full list 

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