In the past, if someone had mentioned "The Last Leaf" to me, my first reaction would have been to think of the wonderful O Henry short. Eventually, I could probably have brought The Cascades' song to mind. Then, after quite a bit of recollecting, OK Go's version. But that's probably all I'd have had to offer.
Until today, that is:
The members of the Danish String Quartet also have affection for folk. They are plenty happy playing Haydn and Brahms, but their new album, Last Leaf, is entirely devoted to old Nordic folk melodies and dances, which they've arranged for string quartet. The oldest date to around 1300, but there are newer ones, and even a couple faux-folk tunes composed by the group's cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin.
"Æ Rømeser" is an 18th-century dance from the village of Sønderho, situated at the southern end of Fanø, one of the many Danish islands that hug the country's west coast.
Here's a promo video from ECM Records:
And here's their performance of the record's "Shine You no More," which has a wonderful Leahy-ian quality to it.