Album review: Sven Helbig, Pocket Symphonies (Deutsche Grammophon)
Sven Helbig is a young German composer equally drawn to classical, pop and hip-hop modes, probably most famous for his orchestrations on Pet Shop Boys' Battleship Potemkin and The Most Incredible Thing. That populist spirit informs this debut release, with emotionally expansive pieces restricted to pop-song length.
The unnatural compression works in some cases like film music, bringing an evocative potency to the likes of “Gone” and “Eisenhüttenstadt. Elsewhere, ”Am Abend“ is a reflective piano piece akin to Einaudi, the weightless rising triplets of ”Autumn Song“ are like leaves borne on breeze, while the chugging strings and urgent double-time piano of ”Frost“ reflect the industrious rhythmic drive of minimalism.
Download: Frost; Am Abend; Autumn Song; Eisenhüttenstadt
Arts & Ents blogs
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 1 Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 2 Hells of residence: Inside Macedonia's horrifying student accommodation - where the walls are green and the food is black
- 3 Boy George: Bad karma
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Rampaging elephant smashes up house but then 'saves crying baby trapped under debris'