Fusing French and Japanese influences, SE's new recording features works by Takemitsu and Debussy, two composers who share an instinctive feeling for instrumental colour and sensuous textures. SE combines the intimacy and unity of a string quartet with the force and power of an ensemble in this unique and beautiful recording.

SE's reputation for excellent string arrangements (established with important commissions from the late Rudolph Barshai) continues with Jonathan Morton's arrangement of Debussy's String Quartet. The variety of string techniques and the wide palette of instrumental colours Debussy employed are all enhanced by the larger string ensemble, particularly in the sumptuously beautiful slow movement.

In addition, the attractively lyrical Girl with the Flaxen Hair has been orchestrated for string ensemble and two harps by Colin Matthews.

Takemitsu's contribution to the string orchestra repertoire includes two contrasting film scores inspired by the French Impressionists. Finishing the album is Takemitsu's hauntingly melancholic Nostalghia, with a heartfelt solo violin melody by Jonathan Morton.

"...the Debussy [was] a successful orchestral exercise that revealed the revolution around the corner...SE's playing was dazzling."
The Herald