SVEN HELBIG Pocket Symphonies / Intern. version 4810398

. . . emotionally expansive pieces restricted to pop-song length.

. . . beautiful music . . . a rich convoy of textures, moods and emotions . . . Helbig is a master at evoking these with a minimum of notes, relying on the minimalist style of layering repeating patterns, them capping them with a bit of melody. The Fauré Quartett and MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony under conductor Kristjan Järvi are flawless, and there are gorgeous examples of solo violin, cello, piano and celeste playing throughout . . . this is a rich and worthy collection of musical impressions, ideal for moments spent under the summer sun and stars.

. . . classical music language with a laid-back, postmodern sensibility.

. . . Sven Helbig is arguably the highest-profile German composer to embrace a crossover aesthetic . . . expert orchestration . . . "Schlaflied" rounds off the sequence in a mood of poignant introspection . . . Helbig has been fortunate in his exponents, with the Fauré Quartet contributing a subtle sheen of expressive warmth on certain numbers and the Leipzig Radio Symphony responding with unanimity [to Kristjan Järvi] . . .

All 12 "symphonies" are very accessible; neither an abstract radical technique fest, nor a chameleon of older genres . . . I like these Pocket Symphonies for all they are and all they are not. They are nice, simple, charming and pocket sized . . . this will be a CD I will come back to again.