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Leoš Janáček: On An Overgrown Path

Maia Brami

Classique - Released November 26, 2021 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
On An Overgrown Path, Leoš Janáček’s 15 pieces-spanning piano cycle, is here presented in a reshaped guise, arranged for string orchestra and played by the Camerata Zürich under lead violinist Igor Karsko’s direction. This is the premiere recording of the adaption, written by Daniel Rumler in 2017. Janáček’s composition is based on autobiographical fragments – memories from his youth and of his daughter Olga that are additionally contextualised on the recording by readings of poems, written and recited explicitly for this project by the French writer Maïa Brami. Her words, combined with the elaborate string reworkings, establish an insightful setting for Janáček’s music and uncover fresh paths through the original scores. Josef Suk’s Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale St. Wenceslas and Antonín Dvořák’s Notturno, thematically bound to the cycle’s folkloric backdrop, create an appropriate frame. Much of the cycle On An Overgrown Path – previously captured in its original design on the ECM New Series release "A Recollection" by András Schiff – had originally been conceived for harmonium, a popular domestic instrument in Janáček’s days, and was only later rearranged for piano, the instrument the remaining pieces were written for. Ultimately divided into two volumes – referred to as "books", – the first, comprising ten pieces, was published in 1911, and the second posthumously in 1942. Moving seamlessly between subtle harmonic shifts, generous folkloric gestures and more somber scenes from Janáček’s past, the cycle’s nuances are respectfully translated to strings on the recording, and the alternatingly light and dark themes that flare up across the fifteen pieces turn into a compelling chiaroscuro. Violinist Daniel Rumler created the string arrangements at the suggestion of Igor Karsko, the Camerata’s concertmaster and current artistic director, who followed in the footsteps of Thomas Demenga, the ensemble’s director from 2011 to 2020. It was Demenga who had recruited Maïa Brami, asking the writer to draft texts to go along with the cycle. Brami has taken to the task with great care, opening little windows into Janáček’s memories, drawn from different aspects of the composer’s life. In a foreword to her texts, included in the booklet with liner notes by Thomas Meyer, Brami shares her thoughts on the cycle, as she imagines a seasoned Leoš Janáček returning to his native forest: “As I listened to the piece, I saw the old man, the halo of his white mane at dusk. I saw him go deep into the forest from which he had been torn as a child – that regained kingdom, an eternal source of inspiration – and go back in time for one last journey, to the overgrown path that symbolises life”. In On An Overgrown Path, contrasts are omnipresent and reveal a rare wealth of colours and textures. After only a minute into “Our evenings”, the opening piece unveils everything from romantic sighs and pastoral idyll to interruptions by turbulent gloom, offering a short preview of the abundance of ideas and subjects that pervade the cycle. Outlining its essence, Thomas Meyer accurately summarizes On An Overgrown Path as: “a collection of intimate memories and inklings, for example of his (Janáček’s) own youth or of Olga, all captured in a spare, transparent and highly unusual tonal language”. As it’s divided among the strings of the Camerata Zürich, this tonal language is highlighted from a fresh perspective and endowed with new transparency. Bookending On An Overgrown Path on both sides, Josef Suk’s Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale St. Wenceslas and Antonín Dvořák’s Notturno act as preface and epilogue to the cycle. The pieces’ connection to Janáček are exposed – besides the obvious fact that their composers are all Czech – by Janáček, Dvořák and Suk’s common concern for Bohemian folklore. Suk, Dvořák’s pupil and son-in-law, created his meditation after the outbreak of World War I “in the hope of Czech independence from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy”, basing it on the 12th century chorale as an act of rebellion. Dvořák’s single-movement composition, originally the slow movement of his early String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, had been used in an abbreviated form as the first of two slow movements in his String Quintet in G major, Op. 77, but was later excised and re-arranged to the version presented here. Its patient harmonic pulse receives a vivacious treatment by the Camerata Zürich, concluding the programme on a hopeful note. © ECM New Series
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Leoš Janáček: On An Overgrown Path

Maia Brami

Classique - Released November 26, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
On An Overgrown Path, Leoš Janáček’s 15 pieces-spanning piano cycle, is here presented in a reshaped guise, arranged for string orchestra and played by the Camerata Zürich under lead violinist Igor Karsko’s direction. This is the premiere recording of the adaption, written by Daniel Rumler in 2017. Janáček’s composition is based on autobiographical fragments – memories from his youth and of his daughter Olga that are additionally contextualised on the recording by readings of poems, written and recited explicitly for this project by the French writer Maïa Brami. Her words, combined with the elaborate string reworkings, establish an insightful setting for Janáček’s music and uncover fresh paths through the original scores. Josef Suk’s Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale St. Wenceslas and Antonín Dvořák’s Notturno, thematically bound to the cycle’s folkloric backdrop, create an appropriate frame. Much of the cycle On An Overgrown Path – previously captured in its original design on the ECM New Series release "A Recollection" by András Schiff – had originally been conceived for harmonium, a popular domestic instrument in Janáček’s days, and was only later rearranged for piano, the instrument the remaining pieces were written for. Ultimately divided into two volumes – referred to as "books", – the first, comprising ten pieces, was published in 1911, and the second posthumously in 1942. Moving seamlessly between subtle harmonic shifts, generous folkloric gestures and more somber scenes from Janáček’s past, the cycle’s nuances are respectfully translated to strings on the recording, and the alternatingly light and dark themes that flare up across the fifteen pieces turn into a compelling chiaroscuro. Violinist Daniel Rumler created the string arrangements at the suggestion of Igor Karsko, the Camerata’s concertmaster and current artistic director, who followed in the footsteps of Thomas Demenga, the ensemble’s director from 2011 to 2020. It was Demenga who had recruited Maïa Brami, asking the writer to draft texts to go along with the cycle. Brami has taken to the task with great care, opening little windows into Janáček’s memories, drawn from different aspects of the composer’s life. In a foreword to her texts, included in the booklet with liner notes by Thomas Meyer, Brami shares her thoughts on the cycle, as she imagines a seasoned Leoš Janáček returning to his native forest: “As I listened to the piece, I saw the old man, the halo of his white mane at dusk. I saw him go deep into the forest from which he had been torn as a child – that regained kingdom, an eternal source of inspiration – and go back in time for one last journey, to the overgrown path that symbolises life”. In On An Overgrown Path, contrasts are omnipresent and reveal a rare wealth of colours and textures. After only a minute into “Our evenings”, the opening piece unveils everything from romantic sighs and pastoral idyll to interruptions by turbulent gloom, offering a short preview of the abundance of ideas and subjects that pervade the cycle. Outlining its essence, Thomas Meyer accurately summarizes On An Overgrown Path as: “a collection of intimate memories and inklings, for example of his (Janáček’s) own youth or of Olga, all captured in a spare, transparent and highly unusual tonal language”. As it’s divided among the strings of the Camerata Zürich, this tonal language is highlighted from a fresh perspective and endowed with new transparency. Bookending On An Overgrown Path on both sides, Josef Suk’s Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale St. Wenceslas and Antonín Dvořák’s Notturno act as preface and epilogue to the cycle. The pieces’ connection to Janáček are exposed – besides the obvious fact that their composers are all Czech – by Janáček, Dvořák and Suk’s common concern for Bohemian folklore. Suk, Dvořák’s pupil and son-in-law, created his meditation after the outbreak of World War I “in the hope of Czech independence from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy”, basing it on the 12th century chorale as an act of rebellion. Dvořák’s single-movement composition, originally the slow movement of his early String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, had been used in an abbreviated form as the first of two slow movements in his String Quintet in G major, Op. 77, but was later excised and re-arranged to the version presented here. Its patient harmonic pulse receives a vivacious treatment by the Camerata Zürich, concluding the programme on a hopeful note. © ECM New Series
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J.S. Bach: Three Or One - Transcriptions by Fred Thomas

Fred Thomas

Classique - Released October 22, 2021 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
On "Three Or One", Bach appears in transfigured light. Fred Thomas’ ECM New Series debut presents organ chorale preludes, vocal cantata movements and orchestral sinfonias – 24 pieces in all – transcribed for trio and solo piano by the British pianist himself. Throughout, Bach’s idiom is thoughtfully explored by three innovative players – a process Thomas describes as "quietly joyful" – and the trio pieces, primarily drawn from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, acquire a fresh character in the hands of Thomas, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva and cellist Lucy Railton. Both respectful of the original musical texts but unique in their execution, Thomas’ reformulations strike a rare balance between moderation and innovation. In the process, the pianist draws attention to various techniques used to "separate the voices and avoid the typical blending and blurring of the organ in a church. Particularly interesting to me", he explains, "was to illuminate how the musical characters interact, sometimes stubbornly ignoring one another as they continue their trajectories, other times moving in separate dimensions, unaware of anything but themselves, and often intertwining in a kind of blissful symbiosis".
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Kurtág: Six moments musicaux; Officium breve / Dvořák: String Quintet, Op. 97

Parker Quartet

Classique - Released October 22, 2021 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
At first glance, the pairing of the two composers chosen by the Parker Quartet and violist Kim Kashkashian for their recording on ECM New Series may appear unusual. However, György Kurtág and Antonín Dvořák have more in common than a fleeting glimpse at their oeuvre – an extremely narrow, concentrated catalogue of works in the one case and a multifaceted life's work that lavishly encompasses all musical genres in the other – would suggest. There is no question that György Kurtág and Antonín Dvořák are creators of eminent chamber music works. Dvořák wrote thirty-one works in this field (not counting the two serenades and some lost pieces), the most generously represented genre being the string quartet with fourteen works, in addition to the three quintets, one sextet, two tercets and others, all intended for pure string ensembles. Even greater still is the proportion of chamber music works in Kurtág's oeuvre, although his orchestral works were often written for smaller ensembles and reduced instrumentations. Ultimately, the intimate, austere quality of chamber music is more in keeping with Kurtág's artistic nature, who thinks less in terms of large formats, but rather developed his own unique style with sound material reduced to microscopic cells.
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J.S. Bach: Three Or One - Transcriptions by Fred Thomas

Fred Thomas

Classique - Released October 22, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
On "Three Or One", Bach appears in transfigured light. Fred Thomas’ ECM New Series debut presents organ chorale preludes, vocal cantata movements and orchestral sinfonias – 24 pieces in all – transcribed for trio and solo piano by the British pianist himself. Throughout, Bach’s idiom is thoughtfully explored by three innovative players – a process Thomas describes as "quietly joyful" – and the trio pieces, primarily drawn from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, acquire a fresh character in the hands of Thomas, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva and cellist Lucy Railton. Both respectful of the original musical texts but unique in their execution, Thomas’ reformulations strike a rare balance between moderation and innovation. In the process, the pianist draws attention to various techniques used to "separate the voices and avoid the typical blending and blurring of the organ in a church. Particularly interesting to me", he explains, "was to illuminate how the musical characters interact, sometimes stubbornly ignoring one another as they continue their trajectories, other times moving in separate dimensions, unaware of anything but themselves, and often intertwining in a kind of blissful symbiosis". <br< The pianist points to the tradition of improvisation that prevails in baroque music, elucidating his understated approach to Bach’s texts by referring to the spontaneous improvisational design that distinguished the changeable art of counterpoint in Bach’s time. Pointing to the things that were played but not written in the musical text, Thomas notes that "Baroque musicians shared a clear understanding of what the interpreter must contribute". A skill that translates to the pianist’s fellow interpreters on this recording and, enhanced by their versatile musical backgrounds, helped form these unique adaptations: "That we can’t help but bring too many things to the table is an incitement to creativity. Bach often re-used his own material and it is no surprise it came out differently each time. With his imaginative, technical and improvisatory powers, do we really believe that Bach would play the same thing the same way twice?" It’s a good question, and the key to the approach taken on "Three Or One". © ECM New Series
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Kurtág: Six moments musicaux; Officium breve / Dvořák: String Quintet, Op. 97

Parker Quartet

Classique - Released October 22, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
At first glance, the pairing of the two composers chosen by the Parker Quartet and violist Kim Kashkashian for their recording on ECM New Series may appear unusual. However, György Kurtág and Antonín Dvořák have more in common than a fleeting glimpse at their oeuvre – an extremely narrow, concentrated catalogue of works in the one case and a multifaceted life's work that lavishly encompasses all musical genres in the other – would suggest. There is no question that György Kurtág and Antonín Dvořák are creators of eminent chamber music works. Dvořák wrote thirty-one works in this field (not counting the two serenades and some lost pieces), the most generously represented genre being the string quartet with fourteen works, in addition to the three quintets, one sextet, two tercets and others, all intended for pure string ensembles. Even greater still is the proportion of chamber music works in Kurtág's oeuvre, although his orchestral works were often written for smaller ensembles and reduced instrumentations. Ultimately, the intimate, austere quality of chamber music is more in keeping with Kurtág's artistic nature, who thinks less in terms of large formats, but rather developed his own unique style with sound material reduced to microscopic cells. <br< For the present recording, their first for ECM, the Parker Quartet combines the Six moments musicaux, Op. 44 and the Officium breve, Op. 28 – Kurtág's String Quartets No. 3 and No. 4, if you will – with Dvořák's String Quintet No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97, for which Kim Kashkashian has taken over the second viola part. And here, within the musical facture, the compositional means, in the sound complexion, the paths of these two composers, who represent two musical eras, diverge. As with basically all the works of György Kurtág, who scrupulously concentrates and condenses the means and tools of composition, these two string quartets are made up of the smallest musical gestures, timbres and fragments – all of convincing consistency. They are replete with allusions to persons close to him, works and events of the past and present, from which the composer's aesthetic points of orientation can be derived: Beethoven, Olivier Messiaen, the pianist and piano teacher György Sebök, the Hungarian poet Endre Ady, Samuel Beckett, Leoš Janáček. And Anton Webern, of course, with his minimum of notes and maximum of expression as a consequence. These examples of sonic artistry, concentrated around the essential, frame Antonín Dvořák's late String Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 97. Like the other works written at the same time, during the composer’s "American period", its attractiveness hails from the natural, almost blossoming melodicism as well as the concise rhythm. Brahms, the Czech composer’s mentor of many years, took note of Dvořák’s unpretentious sense for melody, and his apparently never-ending power of invention. © ECM New Series
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Brahms: Piano Concertos

András Schiff

Classique - Released May 21, 2021 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
Arnold Schoenberg called him "Brahms the Progressive". Whilst Johannes Brahms’s musical language and formal cosmos were deeply rooted in the past, by burrowing into the music of Bach and Beethoven he brought forth compositional fabrics of a tight-knit perfection that pointed far into the future. Yet, over years of continuously evolving interpretations, Brahms’s oeuvre has acquired an inappropriate heaviness more likely to conceal the fabric of his music than to unveil the subtle intricacies of its "developing variations", to quote Schoenberg’s term for his compositional method. András Schiff emphasizes precisely this point in his new recording of the two piano concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. These developments, need it be said, are also related to changing performance conditions and transformations in society. But it is not always easy to say where the causal chain began. What is certain is that the growth of a global audience for music – with a corresponding increase in volume levels, larger concert halls and ever more massive ensembles and sturdier instruments – has led to a distorted image of Brahms that cries out for correction. After all, as Schiff puts it, Brahms’s music is "transparent, sensitive, differentiated and nuanced in its dynamics". In order to bring this to light, however, we must recall the performance conditions of Brahms’s day and reconstruct them as best we can. The Meiningen Court Orchestra, one of Europe’s most progressive and highly acclaimed orchestras of the era, and Brahms’s personal favourite (he conducted it in the première of his Fourth Symphony in 1885), consisted at times of no more than 49 musicians with nine first violins. Moreover, the pianos he preferred, mainly built by the firms of Streicher, Bösendorfer and Blüthner, were more limpid in their sound, richer in overtones, and responded to a lighter touch. András Schiff already turned to period instruments on some of his earlier recordings for ECM’s New Series, including his two double albums with Schubert’s late piano works, for which he used a fortepiano built by Franz Brodmann in 1820. He had used the same instrument for his double album with Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, contrasting this version with a reading of the same work on a Bechstein grand of 1921. Now Sir András has chosen the conductor-less Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with its period instruments, for his recording of the two Brahms Concertos. And he plays an historic grand piano built by the Leipzig firm of Julius Blüthner in 1859. The result is nothing less than an attempt "to recreate and restore the works, to cleanse the music and to liberate it from the burden of the –often questionable- trademarks of performing tradition". At times the recordings take on the quality of chamber music, as is especially telling in the last two movements of the B-flat Major Concerto, Op. 83. The result is a performance that approaches the original character of the sound, revealing those layers of the works that emphasise the dialogue between soloist and orchestra – and dispelling the preconception that the Second Concerto is a "symphony with piano obbligato". © ECM New Series
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Brahms: Piano Concertos

András Schiff

Classique - Released May 21, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
Arnold Schoenberg called him "Brahms the Progressive". Whilst Johannes Brahms’s musical language and formal cosmos were deeply rooted in the past, by burrowing into the music of Bach and Beethoven he brought forth compositional fabrics of a tight-knit perfection that pointed far into the future. Yet, over years of continuously evolving interpretations, Brahms’s oeuvre has acquired an inappropriate heaviness more likely to conceal the fabric of his music than to unveil the subtle intricacies of its "developing variations", to quote Schoenberg’s term for his compositional method. András Schiff emphasizes precisely this point in his new recording of the two piano concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. These developments, need it be said, are also related to changing performance conditions and transformations in society. But it is not always easy to say where the causal chain began. What is certain is that the growth of a global audience for music – with a corresponding increase in volume levels, larger concert halls and ever more massive ensembles and sturdier instruments – has led to a distorted image of Brahms that cries out for correction. After all, as Schiff puts it, Brahms’s music is "transparent, sensitive, differentiated and nuanced in its dynamics". In order to bring this to light, however, we must recall the performance conditions of Brahms’s day and reconstruct them as best we can. The Meiningen Court Orchestra, one of Europe’s most progressive and highly acclaimed orchestras of the era, and Brahms’s personal favourite (he conducted it in the première of his Fourth Symphony in 1885), consisted at times of no more than 49 musicians with nine first violins. Moreover, the pianos he preferred, mainly built by the firms of Streicher, Bösendorfer and Blüthner, were more limpid in their sound, richer in overtones, and responded to a lighter touch. András Schiff already turned to period instruments on some of his earlier recordings for ECM’s New Series, including his two double albums with Schubert’s late piano works, for which he used a fortepiano built by Franz Brodmann in 1820. He had used the same instrument for his double album with Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, contrasting this version with a reading of the same work on a Bechstein grand of 1921. Now Sir András has chosen the conductor-less Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with its period instruments, for his recording of the two Brahms Concertos. And he plays an historic grand piano built by the Leipzig firm of Julius Blüthner in 1859. The result is nothing less than an attempt "to recreate and restore the works, to cleanse the music and to liberate it from the burden of the –often questionable- trademarks of performing tradition". At times the recordings take on the quality of chamber music, as is especially telling in the last two movements of the B-flat Major Concerto, Op. 83. The result is a performance that approaches the original character of the sound, revealing those layers of the works that emphasise the dialogue between soloist and orchestra – and dispelling the preconception that the Second Concerto is a "symphony with piano obbligato". © ECM New Series
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Anájikon

Nils Monkemeyer

Classique - Released April 30, 2021 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
"Anajikon", the second ECM album after "Music for piano and string quartet", by Athens-born and Munich-based Konstantia Gourzi, incorporates her chamber and orchestral music of the past decade. The composer also conducts the Lucerne Academy Orchestra here: "I see composing and conducting as a whole, as an inseparable relationship", she says. Gourzi is particularly concerned with making connections between the arts, which also relates to the question of her own artistic identity and the influence of her origins. In Gourzi's sound language, elements of different musical traditions repeatedly merge, and East and West enter into a dialogue. This album presents three of her compositions: her third String Quartet, "Anajikon", her orchestral piece Ny-el (commissioned by the Lucerne Festival, in August 2016 with the orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy) as well as Hommage a Mozart, three Dialogues. Her works are performed on this new recording by Nils Mönkemeyer (viola); William Youn (piano), the Lucerne Academy Orchestra and the Minguet Quartett. "Anajikon" is preceded by the album "Music for piano and string quartet", which presented the composer's work for the first time. UK magazine Gramophone described the album as "An absorbing introduction to an eminently worthwhile composer". © ECM New Series
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Anájikon

Nils Monkemeyer

Classique - Released April 30, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
"Anajikon", the second ECM album after "Music for piano and string quartet", by Athens-born and Munich-based Konstantia Gourzi, incorporates her chamber and orchestral music of the past decade. The composer also conducts the Lucerne Academy Orchestra here: "I see composing and conducting as a whole, as an inseparable relationship", she says. Gourzi is particularly concerned with making connections between the arts, which also relates to the question of her own artistic identity and the influence of her origins. In Gourzi's sound language, elements of different musical traditions repeatedly merge, and East and West enter into a dialogue. This album presents three of her compositions: her third String Quartet, "Anajikon", her orchestral piece Ny-el (commissioned by the Lucerne Festival, in August 2016 with the orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy) as well as Hommage a Mozart, three Dialogues. Her works are performed on this new recording by Nils Mönkemeyer (viola); William Youn (piano), the Lucerne Academy Orchestra and the Minguet Quartett. "Anajikon" is preceded by the album "Music for piano and string quartet", which presented the composer's work for the first time. UK magazine Gramophone described the album as "An absorbing introduction to an eminently worthwhile composer". © ECM New Series
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Prism III

Danish String Quartet

Classique - Released March 12, 2021 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
The third volume of the Danish String Quartet's ongoing "Prism" series, which shows how the radiance of Bach's Fugues is refracted through Beethoven's Quartets to illuminate the work of later composers. "Beethoven had taken a fundamentally linear development from Bach", the Danes note, "and exploded everything into myriads of different colours, directions and opportunities, much in the same way as a prism splits a beam of light". Here the quartet follow the beam from Johann Sebastian Bach's Fugue in C-sharp minor through Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 to Bela Bartok's String Quartet No. 1. "A revelatory connected soundscape in which Beethoven's introspection feels more unsettling than usual" (BBC Music Magazine, on Prism II) © ECM New Series
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Hosokawa / Mozart

Momo Kodama

Classique - Released March 12, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
Momo Kodama whose acclaimed New Series solo album "Point and Line" contrasted Toshio Hosakawa and Claude Debussy here presents the piano concerto which Hosakawa wrote for her, the shimmering Lotus under the moonlight. Composed in 2006, Lotus is also a homage to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with distant echoes of Mozart's Concerto No. 23 in A Major, the work with which it is paired here in a concert recording from Japan, with Maestro Seiji Ozawa and his Mito Chamber Orchestra. In a composer's note Hosakawa writes that "Momo Kodama's transparency, sensitivity and expressiveness have continued to inspire my piano music deeply. As she touches this magical instrument, she touches the mysterious energy of the universe and stirs my soul". © ECM New Series
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Prism III

Danish String Quartet

Classique - Released March 12, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
The third volume of the Danish String Quartet's ongoing "Prism" series, which shows how the radiance of Bach's Fugues is refracted through Beethoven's Quartets to illuminate the work of later composers. "Beethoven had taken a fundamentally linear development from Bach", the Danes note, "and exploded everything into myriads of different colours, directions and opportunities, much in the same way as a prism splits a beam of light". Here the quartet follow the beam from Johann Sebastian Bach's Fugue in C-sharp minor through Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 to Bela Bartok's String Quartet No. 1. "A revelatory connected soundscape in which Beethoven's introspection feels more unsettling than usual" (BBC Music Magazine, on Prism II) © ECM New Series
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Hallgató

Ferenc Snétberger

Classique - Released February 5, 2021 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
On "Hallgató", recorded live in the Grand Hall of Budapest’s Liszt Academy, Ferenc Snétberger and the Keller Quartett, respectively Hungary’s outstanding acoustic guitarist and its foremost string quartet, are heard together and separately in a moving and organically unfolding programme, with compositions by Snétberger, Shostakovich, John Dowland and Samuel Barber. Snétberger’s In Memory of My People, dedicated to his Sinti and Roma forebears, is a powerful and spirited piece, both threnody and celebration. Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet, also dedicated to the victims of war, is played with great sensitivity and feeling by the Keller musicians. Subtle arrangements of John Dowland find Snétberger with the Keller Quartett for I saw my lady weep and in duo with cellist László Fenyö for Flow, my tears. The Keller Quartett address the yearning quality of Barber’s Molto adagio from his String Quartet, Op. 11, and Snétberger offers a glimmer of hope with the tender solo guitar piece Your Smile. The concluding Rhapsody 1,with Snetberger and string quintet, is a new arrangement of a radiant theme originally written by Ferenc for a film project about the Roma. In total: a very involving and gripping album. © ECM New Series
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Hallgató

Ferenc Snétberger

Classique - Released February 5, 2021 | ECM New Series

Booklet
On "Hallgató", recorded live in the Grand Hall of Budapest’s Liszt Academy, Ferenc Snétberger and the Keller Quartett, respectively Hungary’s outstanding acoustic guitarist and its foremost string quartet, are heard together and separately in a moving and organically unfolding programme, with compositions by Snétberger, Shostakovich, John Dowland and Samuel Barber. Snétberger’s In Memory of My People, dedicated to his Sinti and Roma forebears, is a powerful and spirited piece, both threnody and celebration. Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet, also dedicated to the victims of war, is played with great sensitivity and feeling by the Keller musicians. Subtle arrangements of John Dowland find Snétberger with the Keller Quartett for I saw my lady weep and in duo with cellist László Fenyö for Flow, my tears. The Keller Quartett address the yearning quality of Barber’s Molto adagio from his String Quartet, Op. 11, and Snétberger offers a glimmer of hope with the tender solo guitar piece Your Smile. The concluding Rhapsody 1,with Snetberger and string quintet, is a new arrangement of a radiant theme originally written by Ferenc for a film project about the Roma. In total: a very involving and gripping album. © ECM New Series
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Erkki-Sven Tüür: Lost Prayers

Harry Traksmann

Classique - Released November 13, 2020 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
"Lost Prayers" is the first of Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür's New Series recordings to be devoted entirely to his chamber music. Scaled-back instrumental forces, however, are no indicator of reduced expressive power, and the volatility of Tüür's concept emerges forcefully from the first seconds of Fata Morgana which is, with Lichttürme, one of two pieces for violin, violoncello and piano. These pieces are performed by the Estonian trio of Harry Traksmann, Leho Karin and Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, all of whom have played Tüür's music extensively and made appearances on earlier ECM discs, including "Crystallisatio" and "Oxymoron". The German-based Signum Quartett plays Tüür's Second String Quartet, "Lost Prayers", and Signum violinist Florian Donderer also performs Synergie together with cellist Tanya Tetzlaff. Collectively the musicians underline Erkki-Sven Tüür's view that "one can build up a really rich and wide palette of sounds with only three or four instruments. You don't necessarily need a full orchestra to operate with a powerful soundscape." Erkki-Sven Tüür says of this recording: "Manfred Eicher had wanted to record an album focused on my chamber music works for many years, but it was only after I composed Lichttürme that I felt: now we have a set of pieces we could really release together. This chamber music collection is very important to me". © ECM New Series
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Erkki-Sven Tüür: Lost Prayers

Harry Traksmann

Classique - Released November 13, 2020 | ECM New Series

Booklet
"Lost Prayers" is the first of Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür's New Series recordings to be devoted entirely to his chamber music. Scaled-back instrumental forces, however, are no indicator of reduced expressive power, and the volatility of Tüür's concept emerges forcefully from the first seconds of Fata Morgana which is, with Lichttürme, one of two pieces for violin, violoncello and piano. These pieces are performed by the Estonian trio of Harry Traksmann, Leho Karin and Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, all of whom have played Tüür's music extensively and made appearances on earlier ECM discs, including "Crystallisatio" and "Oxymoron". The German-based Signum Quartett plays Tüür's Second String Quartet, "Lost Prayers", and Signum violinist Florian Donderer also performs Synergie together with cellist Tanya Tetzlaff. Collectively the musicians underline Erkki-Sven Tüür's view that "one can build up a really rich and wide palette of sounds with only three or four instruments. You don't necessarily need a full orchestra to operate with a powerful soundscape." Erkki-Sven Tüür says of this recording: "Manfred Eicher had wanted to record an album focused on my chamber music works for many years, but it was only after I composed Lichttürme that I felt: now we have a set of pieces we could really release together. This chamber music collection is very important to me". © ECM New Series
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Tigran Mansurian: Con anima

Movses Pogossian

Classique - Released November 6, 2020 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet
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Tigran Mansurian: Con anima

Movses Pogossian

Classique - Released November 6, 2020 | ECM New Series

Booklet
From
HI-RES€23.49
CD€16.49

Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas

András Schiff

Classique - Released October 2, 2020 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte
Two great artists, pianist Sir Andras Schiff and composer/clarinettist Jorg Widmann, join forces for the first time on record, performing Brahms's late masterpieces, the Clarinet Sonatas Op. 120, written in 1894. In between the sonatas Schiff plays Widmann's evocative Intermezzi for piano which he composed especially for Schiff making this new recording the premiere. As Jörg Widmann explains in a programme note, these are works inspired by his friendship with Andras Schiff and by a shared love of Brahms, to whom they pay tribute. Jörg Widmann says of this work: "In their disconcerting concision and terse brevity, Johannes Brahms' late intermezzos occupy a unique place in the piano literature. It was this inflection in Brahms' late music that I sought to capture in my own Intermezzos, however different I might be in age and disposition. I owe the existence of my piano Intermezzos to my longstanding friendship with Sir Andras Schiff. Over the years we have played the magnificent late Op. 120 Clarinet Sonatas many times, and also spoken of our love for Brahms, over and over again. We presented a joint programme devoted to Brahms-related pieces at the 2010 Salzburg Festival, also including such Brahms-related pieces as Zemlinsky's Clarinet Trio Op. 3. It was at this recital that Andras gave my piano Intermezzos their premiere performance". This album was recorded at Neumarkt's Historischer Reitstadel. © ECM New Series

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