5.0 out of 5 stars
mixed bag of classic gems of neo-impressionism, his best CD, April 19 2004
Unfortunately, while being one of his very best outings, this CD is getting increasingly hard to find. If you don't own it, you should and if you only own one copy, you need a second for the day when your first gets too scuffed from frequent use to play smoothly!
Even though the moods swing from Ennio Morriconi-esque (as with Dust at Dawn and Ringingglow) to painfully beautiful minimalist strings supported by a delicate piano framework as in "autumn", a seven minute-plus piece that is so original and so beatiful its style and approach has actually been ripped off a few times by movie composers.
The works on this album seem to fall into two slots: The minimalist and the orchestral. The minimalist work such as "Prelude for St. Joan" and 'Autumn" rely on fragile strings to advance what at first seems to be either fragmentary melodies or subliminal melodies. As the piece continues, these themes are fully developed and accompanied by subtle hints of counter-melodies and descants. Some people might not like his frequent use of the perfect chord, but it works well since Eno doesn't force the pieces to progress in the traditional manner. In Autumn, which adds a lovely base of a piano played with a tender, slip-note style... the effect is overwhelmingly sad but beautiful. Eno is always at his best when he strips down the instrumentation and eschews the more New-Agey glides he often relys upon.
The very first cut "Dust at Dawn" sounds as if it was lifted directly from some lost Sergio Leone film and Morricone soundtrack.. it's that lovely. Using a fairly traditional orchestration, this piece really does evoke a movie of the mind, as does "Ringingglow". The other pieces not mentioned swing back and forth between the minimalist strings and the more expansive approach of the above mentioned cuts. Overall, the CD is a nice balance of both styles but sometimes I make mix tapes where I cut out one or the other and add similar pieces from Enos other works to avoid ruinging the mood.
The string pieces alone should qualify Eno as a major talent of the Neo-Expressionist mode, but he moves between so many styles that there is never an entire CDs worth of such pieces to treasure. While this might be maddening in another, lesser talented composer, it is actually a plus with Eno since all his styles have merit. BETWEEN TIDES is a CD \you will want to have in you permanent collection