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  Наименование CD :
   Zimmermann, Schiff: Honegger, Martinu, Bach, Pintscher, Ravel

Год издания : 2006

Компания звукозаписи : ECM

Время звучания : 1:03:29

Код CD : ECM New Series 1912

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Symphony)      

Recorded August 2004, Propstei St. Gerold,

and January 2005, Festeburgkirche, Frankfurt am Main (track 7)

Frank Peter Zimmermann and Heinrich Schiff make their ECM debuts with an involving and adventurous duo recital, recorded in the monastery of St. Gerold and Frankfurt's Festeburg Church. Throughout, they combine exhilarating musicianship and an impulsive approach with supremely subtle phrasing and dynamics, as they move through a very broad scope of music for violin and violoncello.

"A whole series of outstanding masterpieces have been written for this format," Heinrich Schiff notes, "works that are outstanding not only in the oeuvres of the composers concerned but in the chamber music repertoire altogether. This applies especially to Honegger and Martinu, whose chamber music is under-acknowledged. Evidently the combination of violin and cello spurs composers to master the huge challenges of two-part writing, whether as one oversize solo instrument (in duplicate, so to speak) or with an almost orchestral richness, so that we seem to be hearing a string quartet in miniature."

Zimmermann and Schiff have been playing together for over 20 years and extend their collaboration now into a recently formed piano trio with Christian Zacharias. Schiff feels that in Zimmermann he has found "a wonderful partner who thinks much along my lines but does quite unexpected things". Having performed the Brahms Double Concerto together frequently, the two musicians realized that "we simply had to play duos, especially the Ravel Sonata, one of his best and most adventurous works, almost verging on Schoenbergian terrain. It exploits every stylistic device to the utmost, it's inventively written throughout, and it's extremely demanding."

Schiff feels that the main enticement for his duo with Zimmermann is that he can, so to speak, "play solo sonatas in duet". In their duo recording the two musicians quickly realised that they wanted their programmes to cover a range spanning centuries and styles: from the strict counterpoint of Johann Sebastian Bach to the polyphonic complexity and dynamism of Honegger's Duo and the Slavic-Bohemian hues of Martinu, to the ethereal music of the young German composer Matthias Pintscher (b. 1971). When the musicians were pondering who to commission a new work from, "we quickly settled on Pintscher", says Schiff. "In 2003 Frank Peter had given the premiere of his en sourdine for violin and orchestra in Berlin. I share his high opinion of Pintscher's music." In the piece that transpired Study 1 for 'Treatise on the Veil', inspired by the art of Cy Twombly, the fine-spun string sonorities are realized so delicately and sensitively by Zimermann and Schiff that it is frequently difficult to tell which instrument is employed.

The album reveals not only the delightful timbral potential of the combination of violin and cello, it also presents an extremely wide range of contrasting two-part textures. The origin and affinity of the instruments used by the players gives this musical encounter an added allure: both men play Stradivarius instruments dating from the year 1711 - Zimmermann a violin formerly owned by Fritz Kreisler, Schiff the renowned 'Mara' cello.


========= from the cover ==========

Shadows, Canons, Veils

In times of anxiety, as now, there is always the past - not just as a refuge but as stimulus, example and proof: a spur to find similarly powerful solutions, a model of what they might be, and a sure indication that it is not beyond human ingenuity to discover them. Bach's music was so understood during the tightrope years between the two great wars of the first half of the twentieth century, the period of the works by Ravel, Martin and Honegger in this recording. In specifically musical terms, with the old bearings of tonality lost or loosened in strength, Bach showed how order and drive could come from counterpoint. Thus a shadow play, of one line against another, was embraced in a larger play of shadows, in which the music of the 1920s and 1930s came to move like that of two centuries before, line tugging on line and, where the principle of canon is observed, a strand of melody being followed by its imitation.

A canon reproduces the lesson of history in microcosm: the present repeats the past in a new context. This may be heard with exemplary clarity here in the two canons from Bach's Art of Fugue, two pieces which, like the rest of that great compendium, have no designated scoring, but which lie very happily on violin and cello. In the "Canon alla duodecima" (Canon at the twelfth) the subject - an embellished version of the theme on which the whole opus is based - is presented first by the lower voice. This the upper replicates at the interval of a twelfth (i.e. an octave plus a fifth), lifting the whole harmonic plane up from D minor to A minor and so adding to the uncertainty within what is already a tonally prevaricating melody. To help maintain order Bach pulls the lines together with more local connections and cross-references: for example, the snaking sextuplet head-motif keeps being replayed in ricochet between the voices. Once the upper voice has given the entire subject, it repeats the whole thing up a further fourth - two octaves, therefore, above where the lower voice was and remains, and back in D minor. This crucial juncture is marked by the upper voice sounding the head-motif three times in succession. Henceforth the lower voice is the follower, until the canon is completed by a brief coda.

The "Canon in Hypodiapason" (Canon at the octave) sets a different, inverted variant of the Art of Fugue theme, again in D minor but now in gigue rhythm. This time the upper voice starts, to be answered an octave below, and the two voices duly proceed, one after the other, through variations of the subject in A minor, in A minor in inversion (so restoring the theme in its proper shape) and in D minor in inversion (so restoring the theme to its proper key) before recapitulating the opening.

Once a canon's play of entity and shadow has been set up, it could continue forever; the canon at the twelfth here is given one wholesale repeat before coming to its coda, but the two voices in both canons could go on retracing their interplay indefinitely. Hence, perhaps, part of the attraction later generations felt to Bach's canons, not only as paradigms of strict composition but as instances of infinite time.

By the time Bach was creating The Art of Fugue, probably when he was in his late fifties, he was himself seeing by the light of the past, looking back over the contrapuntal tradition that had begun two centuries before him with Josquin and Obrecht. Almost certainly he felt that light going out - and yet, in his own work, he was perpetuating it.

Here is Honegger in 1921, during the time Ravel was writing his Sonata for violin and cello:"l have a tendency, perhaps excessive, to seek out polyphonic complexity... We have to make use of the harmonic materials created by the school that came before us, but in a different way, with a basis in line and rhythm. Bach used elements of tonal harmony as I would like to use harmonic superpositions of a modern sort." Quite explicitly, then, Bach was to be the talisman in a rerouting of rich, Romantic harmony according to contrapuntal rules. One may note, too, that Honegger's Sonatina for violin and cello came in the same year, 1932, as his Prelude, arioso et fughette sur le nom de Bach for piano. The sonatina starts with search: a wandering line played by the two instruments in octaves in their lowest, darkest register. Before long the violin is singing a tune that suggests the destination will be bright E major, but the quest continues, between episodes of canon, open-string elementariness and the cello's reprise of the tune in E flat.

Full triads at the end seem tentative propositions: C sharp minor, E minor. Such harmonic doubts are hardly settled by the middle movement, an andante crossed with a scherzo-canon, but E major radiates through the finale, which begins with the instruments answering one another as if in a musical game. With this kind of music as a dancing refrain, the movement includes solo cadenzas on either side of a canonesque pianissimo section. Like Honegger drawn to Paris to learn and afterwards held by the city's abundant cultural life, Martinu wrote his first duo there in January 1927 (another followed in 1958). Here the opening is a pseudo-canon, in which the cello starts in a high register and the violin comes in below. Again a journey from darkness is initiated, and again there is sonorous four-part writing (excluded in Bach's strictly linear compositions), not least at the climax of this first movement, in sunny G-flat major. The prelude ends, in C minor, to be followed by a rondo spinning around C major. In another parallel with the Honegger, this finale incorporates cadenzas, and both composers may well have been influenced by the recent Tzigane of their elder colleague Ravel. More generally, Ravel's Sonata (and also perhaps Kodaly's prototypical Duo of 1914) offered paradigms of texture - though behind Ravel, for Martinu as much as for Hon-egger, stood Bach: Martinu's finale ends with a stretto, or rapid-fire canon.

Bach is perhaps a very long way behind the music of Matthias Pintscher, despite the very evident independence yet interdependence of the parts in his Study I for "Treatise on the Veil"(which he composed in 2004 for the musicians of this recording), and even the occasional moments of canon-like answer. Yet he is certainly no stranger to linear discipline, as his note on the piece reveals: "In the early seventies the great U.S. painter Cy Twombly created a cycle of works titled "Treatise on the Veil", including numerous sketches and two main works. My own 'Treatise' cycle refers directly to this series and is at the same time a homage to the artist whose work has given me, especially in recent years, important impulses towards structural development in my composing. The concept of veil carries different associations depending on whether the phenomena concerned are acoustic or visual, and these various associations are specifically desired in the hearing of this music. But for Cy Twombly the veil is also related to the Italian velo, one of the drawing instruments Leonardo da Vinci invented to capture and analyse perspective, and so my musical discourse has to do at the same time with essays in lines of perspective. I try to produce, through diverse, multilayered compositional and performance techniques, exactly such an effect of perspective, of lines crossing and at diagonal angles to one another. Extended tones ('lines') seem like a linear background for further dimensions of space, and are aligned to the aural perspective. Processes of disguising/veiling, obtained through preparation of the instruments among other means, break up the articulated sound and allow in a quality of otherness.

Sometimes I wish I could, like a draftsman, draw directly into the sound of the instruments..."

One might think such a wish realized in Ravel's Sonata, where the music seems to spring from the sound of the instruments: their colours and registers, their tunings, and also how they get on together as siblings. The first movement was written in 1920 as a memorial to Debussy, and the work was completed two years later. These were difficult years. Besides being affected by the war, the composer had lost his mother, in 1917, and had written La Valse (1919/20) as musical self-destruction. Of the new work he said: "I believe this sonata marks a turning point in the evolution of my career. Reduction here is pushed to the extreme. Renunciation of harmonic charm; an increasingly marked reaction towards melody." Indeed, though the teasing, sensuous chords are still there, in the guise of arpeggios, much of the piece works as line-against-line counterpoint. There is even a 'canon in hypodiapason' at the beginning of the slow movement, on a theme brought back with a new countermelody to effect a completion. But where a Bach subject will adhere to the white light of major-minor tonality, if often shaded to some degree, Ravel's here has a modal colour, that of Dorian A minor. Hence the extraneous allusions, to Asian music in the violin's incremental pizzicato tune in the scherzo or to something like a sea shanty in the main theme of the finale. Hence, too, the extra-curricular contrapuntal techniques Ravel needs, as in the finale's frenzied consummation. Nothing here sounds like imitation Bach, for the lesson has been learned. The dazzle almost obliterates the shadow; but not quite.

- Paul Griffiths

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Наименование трека



   1 1. Allegro         0:04:51 A. Honegger - Sonatine VI Pour Violon Et Violoncelle En Mi m (1932)
   2 2. Andante - Doppio Movimento - Tempo I         0:05:09 -"-
   3 3. Allegro         0:04:14 -"-
   4 1. Preludium, Andante Moderato         0:03:35 B. Martinu - Duo Pour Violon Et Violoncelle N°1 (1927) (1927)
   5 2. Rondo, Allegro Con Brio         0:07:03 -"-
   6 Canon Alla Duodecima In Contrapunto Alla Quinta         0:04:51 J.S. Bach
   7 Study For 'Treatise On The Veil'         0:11:30 M. Pintscher - (2004)
   8 Canon In Hypodiapason (Canon Alla Ottava)         0:02:53 J.S. Bach
   9 1. Allegro         0:04:49 M. Ravel - Sonate Pour Violon Et Violoncelle (1922)
   10 2. Tres Vif         0:03:23 -"-
   11 3. Lent         0:05:33 -"-
   12 4. Vif, Avec Entrain         0:05:38 -"-


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