Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review -- THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY STRING QUARTET -- Far Behind I Left My Country:Klezmer and East European Folk Music

FAR BEHIND I LEFT MY COUNTRY: Klezmer and East European Folk Music
The University of Calgary String Quartet

If there is one thing I have learned over the years of reviewing music, it’s that the Canadian music scene is about as diverse as you can get, and I am still surprised at times by the disks that come across the desk.
I can certainly add Far Behind I Left My Country by The University of Calgary Quartet to the list of surprises.
Like most I suspect, I see a string quartet as being rather traditional in their approach, and being first and foremost a vehicle for classical music.
Well this is classical in the sense its timeless music, and certainly old, but it comes at the term classical from an Eastern European vantage point.
This is the music that conjures images of Dr. Zhivago, Cossacks on horse back, Ukrainian dancers and gypsies.
As a result the disk comes across as fresh in terms of musical styles and instrumentation.
The string quartet has received acclaim for the disk, having been selected as a nominee finalist for the Instrumental Group of the Year award – 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The quartet features Edmond Agopian and Brinna Brinkerhoff on violins, Dean O’Brien on viola, and Beth Root Sandvoss on cello.
So unique it warrants a listen by any fan of good music. Check it out at

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar 24, 2010 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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