June 28, 2004 12:00 PM


They may look like the kind of Bond girls who would be hanging out with Agent 007, but these four women from the U.K. and Australia are actually classically trained string musicians. On their fourth CD, Haylie Ecker (first violin), Eos Chater (second violin), Tania Davis (viola) and Gay-Yee Westerhoff (cello) make plucky pop-classical music that would make Bach roll over in his grave. Taking familiar themes and updating them with elements of dance, electronica and techno, Bond brings classical music to the clubs on such numbers as “Hungarian,” based on Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 5, and “Adagio for Strings,” inspired by Barber’s Adagio for Strings. But the results are nothing to rave about. While there is a fun novelty factor to hearing Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and the Habanera aria from Bizet’s Carmen modernized with synthesized beats (on “Midnight Garden” and “Señorita,” respectively), the disc is about as thin as a G string. The quartet, backed throughout by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, sings for the first time on a cover of the 1975 Silver Convention disco hit “Fly Robin Fly” that fails to take off. They’re better off fiddling to the pulsating Latin grooves of the fiesta-starting “Samba.”


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