Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Hampton String Quartet
"What if Mozart Wrote 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'?" (CD)

I'd occasionally see this CD flying around during the holiday season.
It made me laugh at the time. Actually, it still does.

A noble attempt to bridge gaps between classical and mainstream music, the arrangements twist together traditional Christmas songs and "greatest hits" moments from the great string quartet literature.

All in all, it's a good idea and the music seems to be well arranged.  The performances, on the other hand, could use some improvement.  In 1986 when this was recorded there were very few names in the classical lite-crossover game.  The Hampton String Quartet, better known for their work as session musicians backing everyone from Sting to Britney Spears, try to fill the shoes of a real quartet, but it's clear their chops aren't really up for the task.
What's amusing (read: sad) is that today you would find a handful of truly wonderful young string quartets that would be happy to use a project like this as a springboard to larger work.

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