The Beatles arranged by Luboš Krtička for String Quartet

Reviewed on Wed 13 Aug, 2014

“If you want to know about the Sixties,” Aaron Copland memorably declared, “play the music of The Beatles.” In pop music’s pantheon, you can’t get much higher than the Fab Four, and many classical greats – from Joshua Rifkin’s ‘Baroque Beatles Book’ to Leonard Bernstein revealing analysis in his Young People’s Concerts, Cathy Berberian’s decidedly quixotic album of covers and John Cage’s ‘Beatles 1962-1970’ for six pianos – have felt the need to pay homage. This latest classical gloss on The Beatles’ legacy from the Wihan Quartet also proves to be one of the finest. A baker’s dozen of songs arranged by the Czech quartet’s compatriot Luboš Krtička is intelligently conceived and delivered. Interpretations (by both arranger and interpreters) unerringly light upon the innate and immediate musicality of Messrs McCartney, Lennon and Harrison to find bewitching romance in ‘Julia’, beguiling poetry in ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and becoming sophistication in ‘Yesterday’. The other songs are dispatched with equal feeling and flair. A pity the booklet is so shamefully scanty.
–Michael Quinn