We usually associate early music as inseparable from a historical context, but it's often easy to forget that most music before 1750 is partly to mostly improvisational in nature, a literally living and breathing music. The organic nature of this music, as well as the instruments used in its performance, makes it incredibly versatile and adaptable. That's where the real magic of "Quatre Chemins" lies. Daniel Brel's bandoneon channels the smoldering intensity of the tango and effortlessly blends it with delicate, lacy fretwork of Le Poème Harmonique, and creates a beautifully lush and intimate sound-world. Brel and Le Poème Harmonique recall the romance and charm of times past, the existential nostalgia that in someway is a premise of classical music itself. The tracks themselves are gems: "Les yeux dans les étoiles" is a late-night meditation on lost love, while "Mouette" and "Dans un regard" recall the last really warm days of the summer. "Berceuse" is anything but a lullaby, as the name would imply, as its gradual development emerges pleasingly into a tango, as a final taste of Brel's great talent and versatility. "Quatre Chemins" is an album full of sad, beautiful music, and is worth repeated listens.