Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà is an all-female string ensemble formed and led by Dubeau herself. She's one of Canada's foremost violinists and on this release she and La Pietà take on the world of video game music. That might seem like a strange match, "high end" classical music at one end of the spectrum and "lowbrow" violence and entertainment on the other. But, in case you're not a connoisseur of the recent crop of video game, keep in mind that a lot of game developers have been pushing the industry in a more cinematic direction for a long time. It's no longer just enough to have the gameplay: now there are film-quality cutscenes and story elements, entire video game series that continue to tell the over-arching story much like a hit film and it's sequels, marketing campaigns that mirror the advertising clout that film studios put behind their releases, etc.
So really, it's only natural for video game music to follow suit. The scores have become more in-depth, more epic and in many cases, more like film scores. While the theme from Super Mario Brothers is iconic, it's not exactly John Williams-level music. Martin O'Donnell's compositions for the Halo series? That's a whole different ballgame. Thus the classical/video game connection isn't much of a stretch. As for this CD, does this match work?
Yes and no. Given that this ensemble is primarily strings, what you're getting here are mostly string arrangements of the video game themes (among them: Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell, Halo and Angry Birds). While that's not a surprise, it essentially turns some of the more in-depth themes (like the selection from Halo 3) into "acoustic" orchestral versions of the music. It's not a bad thing at all, but these definitely have a stripped down feel. All in all, it's not a bad way to encounter these pieces and to experience them from a fresh perspective. I prefer the full orchestral arrangements personally, but if you're feeling adventurous, take a listen to Game Music.