Bruce’s Fingers

This recording by the ZFP Quartet (Carlos Zingaro, Marcio Mattos and Simon H.Fell on, respectively, violin, cello, double bass and electronics plus Mark Sanders on percussion) comes from a performance in Guimaraes, Portugal, yet in terms of sound quality it’s comparable to a top notch studio album. It contains some of the best string playing on offer in recent times, whose depth comes from contrapuntal energies springing from deep within the wood of the instruments (the ghosts of Webern and Ligeti are duly summoned forth) and is enhanced by the sober use of processing. Individual voices remain at one and the same time audible and coherent with the whole design, the musicians remaining fully aware of their position and going to great pains to leave sufficient open sky between the frequent patches of turbulence (special mention should be made of the incredibly sensitive Sanders), never tripping over each other’s feet, completely in awe of the mysterious and bewitching creature they’ve given birth to.

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