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Quatuor Ébène|'Round Midnight

'Round Midnight

Quatuor Ébène

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True to their natural curiosity, on this their latest album, the four instrumentalists of the Quatuor Ébène bring together two nocturnal masterpieces composed at either end of the 20th century, Dutilleux's quartet Ainsi la nuit and Schönberg's sextet for strings Verklärte Nacht ('Transfigured Night'). They had the splendid idea of creating an original link between the two works to form a large eleven-piece nocturne, Night Bridge, conceived amongst themselves and orchestrated by their cellist, Raphaël Merlin.

"Palimpsest, reminiscences, ruptures, allusions, echoes, developments, written improvisations, scribbling, polishing, stretching or contraction... By means of these traditional classical composition methods, we have thus elaborated, with Night Bridge, an original work for a sextet that is absolutely dependent on, and consubstantial with, the two works that surround it", explains Raphaël Merlin. The modesty of this proposition does not proclaim that they have created a real work in which certain standards of American music are upheld, something appreciated by both Schönberg and Dutilleux, nor is it in any way a reflection on the music of the two others. The shades of Cole Porter, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and many others come fleetingly to visit those of Brahms, Debussy and Ravel. This fascinating experience enriches the substance of the two principal works, acting as a form of enlightenment.

As for the interpretation of the two master works of this programme, it reaches a rare expressive power. Time has moved on and the quartet that Dutilleux composed in 1977 is now a classic while retaining its subtlety and mystery, sharing those of Schönberg's sextet which has not finished bewitching us. The instrumentalists had no trouble recruiting the best possible partners for this ambitious project, namely the violist Antoine Tamestit and the cellist Nicolas Altstaedt. This original project, perfectly conceived and masterfully produced, is a particularly welcome success. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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'Round Midnight

Quatuor Ébène

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1
Ainsi la Nuit: Introduction
00:00:32

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

2
Ainsi la Nuit: I. Nocturne 1
00:02:56

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

3
Ainsi la Nuit: Parenthèse 1
00:00:27

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

4
Ainsi la Nuit: II. Miroir d'espace
00:02:04

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

5
Ainsi la Nuit: Parenthèse 2
00:00:29

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

6
Ainsi la Nuit: III. Litanies
00:02:17

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

7
Ainsi la Nuit: Parenthèse 3
00:00:48

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

8
Ainsi la Nuit: IX. Litanies 2
00:03:22

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

9
Ainsi la Nuit: Parenthèse 4
00:00:23

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

10
Ainsi la Nuit: V. Constellations
00:01:33

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

11
Ainsi la Nuit: VI. Nocturne 2
00:00:55

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

12
Ainsi la Nuit: VII. Temps suspendu
00:02:32

Henri Dutilleux, Composer - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

13
Night Bridge: I. Introduction
00:00:35

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

14
Night Bridge: II. On "Moon River" 1
00:01:11

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

15
Night Bridge: III. Parenthèse 1
00:00:10

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

16
Night Bridge: IV. On "Moon River" 2
00:01:44

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

17
Night Bridge: V. Parenthèse 2
00:00:29

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

18
Night Bridge: VI. On "Night and Day"
00:03:01

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

19
Night Bridge: VII. Parenthèse 3
00:00:42

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

20
Night Bridge: VIII. On "Stella by Starlight"
00:06:40

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

21
Night Bridge: IX. Parenthèse 4
00:01:29

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

22
Night Bridge: X. On "Round Midnight"
00:02:59

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

23
Night Bridge: XI. Lever du jour
00:01:16

Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Raphaël Merlin, Composer - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

24
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: I. Sehr langsam
00:04:08

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

25
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: II. Mit Dämpfer
00:02:51

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

26
Verklärte Nacht, O. 4: III. Breiter
00:03:48

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

27
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: IV. Rascher
00:05:01

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

28
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: V. Sehr breit und langsam
00:04:12

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

29
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: VI. Im Zeitmass
00:02:16

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

30
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: VII. Etwas bewegt
00:03:57

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

31
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: VIII. Sehr ruhig
00:04:41

Arnold Schönberg, Composer - Antoine Tamestit, Viola, FeaturedArtist - Quatuor Ébène, String Quartet, MainArtist - Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello, FeaturedArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

Album Description

True to their natural curiosity, on this their latest album, the four instrumentalists of the Quatuor Ébène bring together two nocturnal masterpieces composed at either end of the 20th century, Dutilleux's quartet Ainsi la nuit and Schönberg's sextet for strings Verklärte Nacht ('Transfigured Night'). They had the splendid idea of creating an original link between the two works to form a large eleven-piece nocturne, Night Bridge, conceived amongst themselves and orchestrated by their cellist, Raphaël Merlin.

"Palimpsest, reminiscences, ruptures, allusions, echoes, developments, written improvisations, scribbling, polishing, stretching or contraction... By means of these traditional classical composition methods, we have thus elaborated, with Night Bridge, an original work for a sextet that is absolutely dependent on, and consubstantial with, the two works that surround it", explains Raphaël Merlin. The modesty of this proposition does not proclaim that they have created a real work in which certain standards of American music are upheld, something appreciated by both Schönberg and Dutilleux, nor is it in any way a reflection on the music of the two others. The shades of Cole Porter, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and many others come fleetingly to visit those of Brahms, Debussy and Ravel. This fascinating experience enriches the substance of the two principal works, acting as a form of enlightenment.

As for the interpretation of the two master works of this programme, it reaches a rare expressive power. Time has moved on and the quartet that Dutilleux composed in 1977 is now a classic while retaining its subtlety and mystery, sharing those of Schönberg's sextet which has not finished bewitching us. The instrumentalists had no trouble recruiting the best possible partners for this ambitious project, namely the violist Antoine Tamestit and the cellist Nicolas Altstaedt. This original project, perfectly conceived and masterfully produced, is a particularly welcome success. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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