Описание CD

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  Исполнитель(и) :
   Giger, Paul  (Violin)
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  Наименование CD :

Год издания : 2000

Компания звукозаписи : ECM

Музыкальный стиль : Avant-Garde

Время звучания : 1:12:44

Код CD : ECM New Series 1681

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Modern Classics)      

Recorded June 1998 at Niguliste Church, Tallinn

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir - Tonu Kaljuste, conductor

Swiss violin virtuoso Paul Giger's 2000 release, Ignis, marks in many ways a departure from his other recorded work. Recorded in 1998 as a collaboration with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the pieces on Ignis form a body of old-world sacred music with an avant-garde sensibility. Of the five pieces featured, only one is an original Giger composition, the others being adaptations of found melodies and arrangements of medieval compositions. Most striking is his re-recording of "Karma Shadub"; originally released as a solo violin piece on his 1992 release, Alpstein, it is here transformed into a homophonic choral arrangement with a violin accompaniment that is both lilting and soaring, adding passion and energy to the solemn choral backdrop.

All Music Guide


It's been seven years since Paul Giger's last New Series album, "Schattenwelt", a solo album. In the interim, the Swiss violinist's priorities have shifted, an early 90s collaboration with the Hilliard En-semble opening new perspectives for his music: "Up until that point, I was that old-fashioned type of musician who writes for himself and travels, playing his own compositions." This modest account makes no mention of the extreme originality of his playing, nor of such biographical details as his years as konzertmeister of the St Gallen Symphony Orchestra, his facility with violin repertoire from the baroque to contemporary music, his improvisational experiments, or his knowledge of jazz and folk idioms. "Writing for voices", Giger continues, "felt very natural for me. It's very close to writing for a stringed instrument. Or to say it another way, in playing violin I've often tried to get close to the human voice. It has been one of my models - along with the shakuhachi, which is an instrument I adore...

"Anyway, the work with the Hilliard Ensemble perhaps gave me confidence to write for other instru-ments, and since then I've been receiving commissions each year, writing for chamber music groups or for symphonic forces and choirs."

The present recording brings Giger together with one of the most distinguished contemporary vocal groups, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, under the mercurial direction of Tonu Kaljuste. Both choir and conductor will be familiar to ECM listeners, their discography including such highly acclaimed recordings as Arvo Part's "Kanon Pokajanen", "Litany" and "Te Deum", Veljo Tormis's "Forgotten Peoples" and "Litany To Thunder", and Erkki-Sven Tuur's "Crystallisatio".

The road towards the collaboration was convoluted. Giger's travels had taken him to Estonia where he played a solo concert in the resonant interior of the Niguliste Church, where "Ignis" was finally re-corded. At the time the violinist did not meet Kaljuste, but he did meet several of the choir members who expressed interest in his work, and one of the choirs tenors, Arvo Aun, suggested he consider writing a piece for the EPCC. In the same period, Manfred Eicher had also given Giger recordings of the choir, including "Forgotten Peoples". A weekend of music in a Swiss mountain abbey near Mun-sterthal brought choir, conductor and violinist into closer proximity. "I played my 'Chartres' music on the Sunday morning, and on the Saturday night they played a programme of Bach and Part. It was beautiful, unforgettable. When I finally asked Kaljuste about working together, he was very open. I sent scores to Estonia, and it developed from there."

Giger describes the recording session itself as "euphoric": "I came down to Estonia directly from Ti-bet, where I'd just spent three weeks at a height of 4,000 metres, filming some performances. So I arrived in Tallinn full of red corpuscles and feeling really strong. To have the opportunity to work with a choir of this calibre, so flexible in their approach and able to do so many outstanding things, was a great experience."

For the recording, Paul Giger also assembled a string trio including cellist Beat Schneider, with whom he studied at the Berne Conservatory and Rumanian violist Marius Ungureanu .The string trio is heard alone on "Organum" and "Allelujah" and with the choir on "Tropus" and "O Ignis". On "Karma Shadub", Giger is the only string player, accompanied by the Estonian singers.

"All the pieces of music on this CD are sacred music", the composer/violinist notes, "and some em-ploy words, and some do not." "Organum", which opens the disc, belongs to the latter category. It is a piece of found music, an anonymous composition of the Notre Dame school (c 1190-1210), reworked and arranged for string trio by Giger.

"Karma Shadub", which translates from the Tibetan as "Dancing Star", makes its second ECM ap-pearance. Originally written for solo violin in 1984, it is featured, in radically differing version, on "Alpstein" the album Giger made 10 years ago with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and drummer Pierre Favre. A demanding piece to sing, it requires the holding of a single note for extended durations, a task the men of the Estonian Philharmonic Choir accomplish by performing the piece in relays, split-ting the parts between them. Against the drone of the voices, at first reminiscent of both Buddhist chant and plainsong, Giger's violin climbs patiently - and then soars...

"Karma Shadub" and "Tropus" are concert recordings, and the attentive listener monitoring the music on headphones may perceive some unusual incidental sounds that seem to mesh organically with the music. "The Niguliste Church is right in the middle of town, and there's nearby park which is a meet-ing point for the many people who come by ferry boat from Finland to drink. You can hear them shouting in the distance if you listen closely. There's also the murmur of traffic and at one point a car alarm even goes off, but its tonality fits in so perfectly that I'm quite happy to have it there!"

"Tropus" and "Allelujah" are based upon monophonic melodies, dating back to the 10th century, and attributed to the monks Tuotilo and Notker Balbulus from the Benedictine abbey of St Gallen, where vocal music came to an early high flowering. Of Notker (d. 912), early music authority Richard L. Crocker has noted that "his choice of words was fastidious, his use of assonance and other ornaments of sonority was cautious and carefully planned. His rhythm was regulated according to the best classi-cal ideals." Tuotilo (d. 915) was a pupil of Iso and Marcellus, and a friend of Notker. Apart from being a distinguished musician, he was also hailed as a poet, painter and sculptor. Ekkehard IV, choirmaster and early biographer of the St Gallen monk-musicians, described Tuotilo's melodies as "strange and easily recognisable".

In his "Tropus" Paul Giger gives Tuotilo's melody to the choir and sets the same melody, at a much faster clip, for the strings, giving the piece an unusual rhythmic impetus. "Allelujah" also displays Giger's skills on violino d'amore to good effect.

"O Ignis" takes as its basis music of Hildegard from Bingen. The violinist has been working with this piece - " exploring this mixture of early music and improvisation" - since the early 90s when he first performed it in concert in a version arranged by Peter Roth for four voices, saxophone and violin.



Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir - Tonu Kaljuste conductor

Recorded June 1998, Niguliste Church, Tallinn

Engineer: Mado Maadik

Produced by Manfred Eicher

This recording documents a melodious piece of happenstance. Having begun on rather different planes of ECM's mortal coil, the roving Swiss violinist and the much-in-demand Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir gradually met at the center of a most sonically revelatory circle. The resulting Ignis is a hypnotic experience that reveals new secrets with every listen. For his first label project in seven years since 1992's Schattenwelt, Giger reworks antique motivic fragments into larger wholes. As such, they become fully formed entities looking inward through the lens of an unparalleled violinism.

Organum,for string trio, inducts us into the album's haunting universe. Bathed in a luxurious reverb and medieval sentiment, it plunges us deep into the nexus of what's to come. Karma Shadub, the only original composition here, finds itself resurrected from its appearance on Alpstein to superb choral effect. The EPCC touches every layer with expert care, capturing the arpeggiated flair of the earlier version with a more nuanced legato style. Giger plays like a man possessed of something beyond physical description, filling as much space as the entire choir, if not more.

The following two pieces are drawn from 10th-century Benedictine plainchant. Tropus inverts the spectrum with the violin occupying the central axis around which the other voices reveal themselves. The choir fluffs its feathers, rising from the depths with ascendant violin improvisations, adding harmonic light to an already bursting image. Alleluja is a succinct instrumental statement of utter beauty, and boasts Giger's skills on the viola d'amore. Last is the astonishing O Ignis. Structured around the selfsame piece by Hildegard von Bingen, it can also be heard on the Hilliard Ensemble/Jan Garbarek's Mnemosyne. Presently, it is anchored by a gently lilting ostinato in the cello that soon flowers into a supernova of musical activity, carefully controlled by the binding threads of its voices.

This is a radically different sound for Giger, who seems to reinvent himself with every new effort, and one that should provide many discoveries to come. A gray, expansive, and utterly captivating experience awaits.


  Соисполнители :

Beat Schneider (Violoncello)
Marius Ungureanu (Viola)
Tonu Kaljuste (Conductor)

№ п/п

Наименование трека



   1 Organum         0:06:27  
   2 Karma Shadub         0:21:02  
   3 Tropus         0:14:01  
   4 Alleluja         0:03:31  
   5 O Ignis         0:27:44  


 T   'щелкнуть' - переход к тексту композиции.

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