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Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) - Veridian String Quartet

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Published on Nov 12, 2016

Singing elegant, melancholic songs in a glamorously tattered voice, Leonard Cohen emerged from Montreal in the 1960s, an artist well into his thirties. After a few records, he was royalty, on equal footing with Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, and other top-notch singer songwriters. His songs sound like sinful confidences shared over a bottle of blood-red wine. Cohen has never been in a hurry to make a record just to have product in the racks. Apparently he has the novel idea that before you make an album, you should wait until you have an album’s worth of good songs. So sometimes his output is sporadic. But by the end of the 80’s Cohen’s reputation as a sage elder was ultra tight. He spent most of the 1990s becoming a monk on a mountaintop Zen Buddhist retreat in L.A. But in 2005 the singer suffered every boomer’s nightmare - his retirement fund was empty. Cohen alleged that former manager Kelley Lynch bamboozled him for more than $5 million, and he was broke. So to the delight of the fans he hit the road and toured the globe several times. Everywhere he went kudos followed, and pundits believed him to be at the top of his game. Advancing well into his seventies (he’ll be 80 this September), Leonard Cohen proved to have more energy than just about any other performer on the road, his shows are three-hour journeys through his entire 45-year catalog.
“Hallelujah” was first released on Cohen’s studio album Various Positions in 1984. The song had limited initial success, but found greater popularity through a 1991 cover by John Cale. “Hallelujah” has been performed by almost 200 artists in various languages. It has been the subject of a BBC Radio documentary, a book and featured in the soundtracks of numerous films and television programs. This arrangement (by Norbert Gerl for Gyros String Quartet) is reminiscent of 50’s style bass lines and classic voicing. This performance was filmed live at Veridian String Quartet's "Rock in Film: Unplugged" concert on January 19, 2014. Featuring Helen Graham and Corey Kersting on Violins, Kristen Autry on Viola, and Rebekah Hood Sava on Cello.
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