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Bach Ferneyhough Auerbach Vasks – Positive Feedback

Bach Ferneyhough Auerbach Vasks - Positive Feedback

Vivaldi, Sonatas for Cello and Basso Continuo,  Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello. Harmonia Mundi.

It has been fairly some time since we have had recordings of this seldom heard, really partaking music. Christophe Coin did it properly in 1989 for L’oiseau Lyre, Susan Sheppard did it superb that very same yr with L’école d’Orphee for CRD; after which there are Anthony Pleeth for ASV, Bylsma in 1990 for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and Pieter Wispelwey in 2006 for Channel Classics, amongst cellists we’re more than likely to know of. Wispelwey’s is the newest and it is already twelve years previous. Shocking to me, Queyras is the one lively main modern cellist who has recorded this music.

Queyras understands and performs this music as whether it is near the bodily world round us. His Vivaldi is intimate, typically virtually earthy—he sees it as the other of Bach, which he recorded for HM in 2007.

With Bach, we’re in a religious universe proper from the beginning and it is fantastic! With Vivaldi, transcendence is equally current however it derives from a special relationship to the world. In his music we’re in shut contact with matter. I am all the time struck by the evocative energy of this music, by the pictures it conjures up with unimaginable precision: every little thing is palpable, we’re invited into a real sensory expertise. J-g Q.

Queyras’ Vivaldi walks gracefully however intentionally alongside the bottom, contemplating the small print because it goes, accompanied on some sonatas by a chamber organ that reinforces the sense of weight we really feel. That is extra savory than we’re accustomed to listening to this music. Of the 2 interpretations I do know nicely, Wispelwey’s Vivaldi is beautiful, that includes a light-weight contact on the cello: it’s delicate and lyrical. Coin’s Vivaldi can also be lyrical however extra haunting, suggestive, and looking—typically somewhat sensual, typically dour. With Queyras the cello is extra forthright and current than in both of the others: he digs deeper into the instrument, producing a vigorous but in addition sonorous sound. There’s extra vary of emotion in his interpretation. ‘This music was composed for cello, individuals, not a violin,’ we will hear Vivaldi say right here. ‘If you wish to fly and flit about like Aerial, I’ve received scores of sonatas and concertos for violin for you.’

Queyras could make lighter interpretations of this music sound a bit pressured, as if the cellists are working towards the music moderately than going the place it needs to go. That is what main performers can do to various views. Queyras makes this music very a lot concerning the cello and that instrument’s capability for making us really feel the vary of the pure world: he induces us to take heed to its capability to sing but in addition to listen to deep into its woodiness and the resonances that emanate from it. He lets us see that this can be the more true path to the music’s magnificence. Queyras tells us that the facility of this music lies in its capacity to “spiritualize matter.” 

Two sonatas in, Queyras has pushed different interpretations to the wall for me. This isn’t mild, occasional music, music for the privateness of the chamber. It’s giant, main matter composed for small forces. An excellent efficiency and an incredible recording.


J.S. Bach, The Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord. Rachel Barton Pine, violin. Jory Vinikour, harpsichord. Çedille CDR 90000-177. (2 CD’s)

I used to be not likely ready for this album. It arrived unannounced and unsought from Çedille’s promotional agent, who clearly felt I have to be the person for it. I’ve by no means had an opinion of Rachel Barton Pine, having heard her years in the past when she was merely Rachel Barton. And I’ve heard sufficient variations of Bach’s Sonatas to fulfill me into eternity. However the Çedille man was proper, Pine is way extra of a violinist than I knew, and her Bach has that good mixture of directness and wonder we not often hear.  A lyrical directness. I am not going to dig out all dozen of my recordings of this music on each CD and vinyl to examine myself earlier than I say merely that I’ve by no means heard higher. And I’ve by no means been drawn to this excellent music extra.

Saying extra right here will not make this evaluate extra helpful. This can be a singularly positive album greater than more likely to get misplaced within the shuffle as it might have been right here had Çedille’s man not been proper. It is advisable to hear this.


Brian Ferneyhough. Full Piano Works. Nicolas Hodges, piano. Rolf Hind, piano. Neos 11501-02. (2 CD’s).

Some radical modernists are enjoyable, some are boring. We get to decide on and our preferences make the decision. I’m a fan of British avantgardist Brian Ferneyhough (b. 1943), one of what’s in all probability not a really giant quantity. Once I found him some thirty years in the past within the document library of Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts the place I labored on the time, the report librarian checked out me with a gracious smirk. “Really?” she stated. It was an album of his string quartets and it did not go down straightforward. However I hung round patiently and sooner or later turned hooked up to them. Artwork ‘works’ or it does not and ultimately Ferneyhough’s quartets labored. They turned enjoyable.

His music for piano works too. Only a piano towards the silence, dynamic pointillism, although the dots do not cohere as they might in a Seurat portray. There’s more room between them. Dots and phrases product of dots. Occasional chords. Intoxicating. Like a lot avant-garde music, it goals to render sound in area relatively than in time. We really feel the composer engaged on a canvas.

Two CDs of solo Ferneyhough music is so much, so should you determine to do this album, I do not advocate eating on all of it as one sitting. In manageable bits, it’s good enjoyable. All of this music was composed between 1995 and 2013.


The Mirror with Three Faces. Dimitri Shostakovich, Piano Trio No. 2; Lera Auerbach, Piano Trios Nos. 1 and a couple of. Delta Piano Trio. ODRADEK ODR CD 350.

You’d assume that by now Lera Auerbach’s deserved fame as a rising Russian American composer would preclude the need for together with the well-known and oft recorded Shostakovich Trio with these two exceptional works of hers to assist carry the enterprise. Or maybe the superb however largely unknown Dutch Delta PianoTrio simply needed an opportunity to point out their appreciable chops. Or perhaps that is about musical heritage? In any case, whereas their efficiency of the Shostakovich is ok, it’s the Auerbach trios which might be the purpose right here and what draw us to the discharge.

Auerbach is an excellent and compelling modern composer and these two works present her at her greatest. The Piano Trio No. 1 tells us instantly that the composer isn’t clarified by considering of her as a successor to Shostakovich however that she is ‘an entire new factor’ that have to be met by itself phrases, simply as are her fellow modernist Russians Schnittke, Gubaidulina, Ustvolskaya, and the remaining. She provides every of the devices a lifetime of its personal, making a starkly fantastic sense of musical drama. The work is over in twelve and a half minutes, so we’re out and in earlier than we all know what is going on on. Sensible.

Piano Trio No. 2, which provides the album its identify, mixes the intimate and the gorgeous with the grand, the grand with the extreme, the extreme with the suggestive, and the suggestive with the dance. It seems like an entire world product of three devices. Solely a genius might maintain all of it collectively. Which she does with the virtuosic brilliance of those three musicians. We have to hear extra of them!


Vasks. Presence. Sol Gabetta, cello. Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Candida Thompson, director. Sony 88725423122.

In case you are a fan of up to date romantic modernist Latvian composer Peteris Vasks (b. 1946) and of the cello, you do not want me to ship you after this album. Argentine celllist Sol Gabetta, for whom Vasks composed his Second Cello Concerto; Presence (2012), the featured work of this launch, is among the many greatest recognized on the planet. She is a perfect spokesperson for the music: clearly these two share deeply romantic sensibilities. 

The work consists of sections for solo and for cello & orchestra succeeding one another to nice dramatic impact. Vasks is the one Japanese European composer who wears his (appreciable) coronary heart on his sleeve, prepared to let the passionate ache that colours the area’s trendy historical past inform his music with emotional directness. What he makes of that ache on this concerto is pure elegiac eloquence, one thing like Barber’s Serenade for Strings processed via an Japanese European creativeness and expertise. Deeper and richer than the Barber however, just like the Serenade, harmless of irony.

Musique du Soir (1988) for solo cello and organ mixes in a second of Kanchelli-like disruptive violence to take issues up an emotional notch. Consequently, this work is a extra a intense affair. It can be performed by a horn and organ however I anticipate the result’s significantly diminished. 

Gramata Cellum – The Guide (1978). This work for solo cello is the one which alerted Gabetta to the existence of Vasks. It calls to thoughts Kodaly’s solo Cello Sonata. Private rhetoric characterizes its first motion. Poignant elegy, a lot within the spirit of the concerto, characterize the second, although a solo cello can do issues which might be too intimate for a concerto. 

Highly effective, deeply emotional music from the soul of the fashionable Japanese European creativeness.


System used for this audition: Decision Audio Cantata CD participant w/BlackJack energy twine; Blue Circle strong state NSC preamplifier and zero02i-EPS amplifier, Jean Marie Reynaud Abscissa Jubilee loudspeakers;  Crimson interconnects and speaker cable; Mapleshade Samson gear rack.

Bob Neill, a former gear reviewer for Benefit from the Music and Positive Feedback, is proprietor of Amherst Audio in Western Massachusetts which sells gear from Audio Word (UK), Blue Circle (Canada), Crimson (UK), Jean Marie Reynaud (France), Decision Audio (US), and Tocaro (Germany).

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