Bersarin Quartett: II (Denovali)
While Bersarin Quartett’s music sounds much bigger than a quartet, it’s worth noting that it’s not a foursome at all; it’s the one-man project of Thomas Bücker. His music is lush and elaborate, typically coming off more like a film score than casual listening; however, I think he strikes a balance between those worlds, and, after all, it’s not as if those worlds are mutually exclusive anyway. The consistent thread on II is just how gorgeous everything sounds. Bücker’s liberal use of string arrangements with deep effects and atmospheric detailing are at the heart of the album, delivering one dramatic moment after another. “Im Lichte des Anderen” swells like a phoenix, while “Perlen, Honig oder Untergang” breathes in and out with a sense of majesty in its undulating strings and piano interplay. While Bücker is certainly not afraid to explore this heightened sense of drama, II is not without its more serene and blissed out pieces, like the reverberated haze of “Im Glanze der Kometen,” or elegant tracks that split the difference such as “Hier und jetzt,” delivering the best of both worlds. It’s perhaps best experienced as one big cinematic whole, rather than discrete tracks apart from one another. Really beautiful from start to finish.