'Round Midnight

'Round Midnight

The fine French ensemble Quatuor Ébène undertake a journey after dark that ends with Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg’s transformation of Richard Dehmel’s poem “Verklärte Nacht” into one of the most glorious late-Romantic string sextets. Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht is a story of love, understanding, and hope, and it’s gorgeously played by the Ébènes and two starry guests (cellist Nicolas Altstaedt and violist Antoine Tamestit), the sinuous lines sensitively woven. French composer Henri Dutilleux’s Ainsi la Nuit, a string quartet of which he was most proud and a modern classic, is superbly done. In between, Night Bridge—composed by the Ébène’s cellist, Raphaël Merlin—weaves jazz and pop songs into a heady sequence.

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