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Im Hellen – String Trio
Im deutlichen Morgen [10:58]
Was Wiesel wissen [5:15]
Unter Kinnhöle [1:31]
Gib mir Honig [5:39]
Safran im Februar [3:39]
Out of Reach [5:13]
Hinter Wänden aus Papier [2:58]
Hinüber oder vielleicht [5:29]
Zweifels ohne [4:41]
Harald Kimmig (violin)
Daniel Studer (bass)
Alfred Zimmerlin (cello)
rec. 2015, Studio 1, Radio SRF2, Zürich
HAT(NOW)ART 201 [45:28]

After reviewing the complete works of Beethoven, I wanted something different and you can’t get more different than this, so much so that I did not - and to some extent still don’t - quite know exactly what it is. I have been asking myself whether it is classical music, jazz, or even music at all; all I can say is that it is as far removed from the music of Beethoven as you can get. I have listened to the disc quite often over the last few weeks, but only when I am home alone, as the rest of my family found it too hard to handle. To some extent, so do I, but I have persevered as one should, and I am now happy to have it in my collection.

The music the trio plays is quite extraordinary. By grabbing, slapping, bowing and scratching the strings of their instruments and using their bodies as percussion devices, hitting them with both the bow and the hand, they produce sounds that to conventionalists might seem impossible, thereby making sounds you would associate with other instruments and managing to produce a unique soundworld which can be both violent and tender.

Whilst both Alfred Zimmerlin and Harald Kimmig have a basis in classical music, Daniel Studer is better known as a jazz musician. Indeed, if you look up the Trio on Discogs, they are described as a jazz ensemble. Their musical style certainly has the improvisatory nature which one most associates with jazz, but, as the notes tell us, the music is composed first then improvised around, so repeat performances can sound slightly different. The opening piece, Im deutlichen Morgen, introduces us to the Trio’s musical form; this is perhaps the most violent work presented here, introducing the full gamut of unusual sounds. This is followed by Was Wiesel wissen, a calmer and altogether less shocking piece which offers some minimal - in the true sense of the word - aspects, as parts of the music frequently employ pauses between the notes, with these silences used to great effect. The remaining movements offer the listener more of the same; some might find the somewhat short 45 minutes more than enough, but give this disc time and space and you start to hear totally new sounds and effects that you didn’t hear in the previous play through.

The playing is quite extraordinary and has been captured by the engineers in beautifully clear, detailed sound. The notes by Professor Andy Hamilton mostly rely on quotations from the members of the Trio, although its discussion of musical aesthetics is quite useful and informative. Whilst this disc will not feature frequently on my CD player, it will be regularly played and enjoyed.

Stuart Sillitoe



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