Works for solo viola
BERIO; DILLON; DUSAPIN; KURTAG; LIGETI; SCIARRINO
We have no source of supply for this disc but according to the
website this disc can be purchaed on line from
fnac 1. disques 2. classique 3. xxieme
siecle 4. collection Montaigne
Nothing naïve about this co-production with Auvidis Montaigne -WDR!
It is the best solo viola CD I have come across and I recommend it strongly
- even to those who have been put off by the list of composers and might
not have intended to read further?
Garth Knox knows more about contemporary composers and performance
of their music than most. As violist of Ensemble Intercontemporain 1983-90,
and in the Arditti Quartet 1990-98, he worked closely with all these composers,
an ideal pursued in preparing this CD. He writes that 'working with a composer
on a solo instrumental piece is as close as you can get to handling the finest
detail of the smallest building blocks he uses to construct his sound world'.
Record it in an ideal studio situation, with just the right amount of
reverberation, and it can be brought into the home, sounding as near as can
be to having the player in your living room.
Kurtag, the most demanding of these composers, lets no note pass him by 'until
he has placed it in its historical, harmonic, semantic and emotional contexts'.
Dillon 'listens and comments in a slightly oblique way', which Knox finds
congenial, given their shared Scottish background (Garth was put to the viola
to complete the family string quartet!). Sciarrino makes no attempt to control;
Ligeti stimulates imagination and curiosity and 'kept telling me to listen
to Stephane Grapelli' when preparing his Sonata of 1991/94; Berio, coaching
Knox on his Sequenza VI, 'likes to keep a firm grasp on interpretation',
Dusapin 'gets carried away with contagious enthusiasm' etc etc.
The sequence is a treasure trove of extremely varied contemporary idioms.
I pick out particularly for commendation Sciarrino's notturni brillanti,
'a whirl of an instrumental tightrope executed at lightning speed', and as
good an introduction to the scurrying pianissimos of this most individual
of Italian composers as you will find, and Dillon's Siorram, an
intensively volatile 'enchanted sleep' which changes mood 'with the speed
of waking dreams'.
These recordings of 1995/96 have only just been released by Audivis/Naïve,
with fascinating notes by Garth Knox - small print on thick paper; you'll
need good eyesight, and the cover colouring compounds the difficulty - but
it's worth the effort to read it all.
This is a CD which may open music doors if listened to with an open mind.
If your appetite is whetted, go on to hear Berio's complete Sequenzas
457 038-2GH3 and his beautiful Voce for viola and orchestra
[Aldo Bennici & London Sinfonietta - BMG ClassicsRCA
Red Seal RD87898 ].
For Sciarrino at his most extreme you could try an intriguing new CD with
0012022KAI], which has his rather conventional adaptations
of Gesualdo and includes a long, very esoteric work Infinito Nero with
wispy sounds and a text spoken very fast, the speaker entering only after
some eleven minutes of near silence. All fully explained - 'silence is not
empty. It gives birth to sound' - and beautifully packaged. Very bizarre,
so no star rating attempted!
Peter Grahame Woolf