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Chonguri / Demenga, Larcher, Angellotti


Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Ecm   Catalog #: 000668502   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sulkhan TsintsadzeJohann Sebastian BachJohann Gottfried WaltherGaspar Cassadó,   ... 
Performer:  Thomas DemengaTeodoro AnzellottiThomas Larcher
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Ten years ago, a recital disc with this range of repertoire was a delightful rarity. Few musicians, and even fewer record companies, were broadminded and inclusive enough to cover such disparate musical territory at all, let alone on a single disc. I’ve attended Pollini recitals pairing Beethoven with Boulez, and Chopin with Stockhausen—big pieces, too, not just token tidbits!—and Charles Rosen probably did similar recitals; but DG or Columbia (their respective labels) certainly didn’t record them doing it.

The natural label to have done this sort of thing used to be Nonesuch, whose catalog in the 1970s encompassed everything from Buddhist temple music to Josquin, to sacred harp music, to Beethoven on a fortepiano, to Scott
Read more Joplin played by William Bolcom, to Stockhausen with Martina Arroyo. Now most of that is gone from their catalog, and Nonesuch is dangerously close to self-parody: Wilco, Emmylou Harris, and the “goth bubblegum band” The Gothic Archies appear on its home page alongside John Adams and Steve Reich, the only two composers featured there—where is Andriessen or Golijov? It’s the ATV (all-terrain vehicle) of record labels. ECM, on the other hand, started out in the 1970s as a rather parochial neo-Classical chamber Euro-jazz label with an identifiable corporate sound and only Claus Ogermann and Keith Jarrett writing for orchestra; but now ECM has blossomed into a prime conduit for the music of Eastern European composers (including a lovely Silvestrov/Pärt/Ustvolskaya recital reviewed elsewhere), as well as some of the choicest Western modernism, with major releases by the Ardittis, Berio, Carter, and Holliger, but also revelatory discs of Schumann, Ysaÿe, and Zelenka.

Today, anyone with an iPod Shuffle can juxtapose Xenakis and X-Ray Spex, or Berry and Berio. So the bar has been raised for eclectic recitals like “Chonguri.” Happily, Demenga has stayed several steps ahead of the game by linking his selections with sophisticated musical connections, arranging Bach choral preludes with an accordion continuo, uncovering yet another obscure composer from former Soviet territory (the Georgian Sulkhan Tsintsadze, who died in 1922), and composing two first-rate novelties himself, involving the Berg Violin Concerto and a taxi horn. For me, the most exquisite grouping on this lovely CD is the magical middle-period Fauré Romance, followed by a piece that begins on the root of the relative minor followed by a seventh chord—more Fauré? Surprise! It’s the first of Webern’s Drei kleine Stücke, op.11. After those (No. 2 is famously just 19 seconds long), played with smoldering sensuality, we get two lush late-Romantic bonbons. Marx? Nope—Webern again, this time his early Two Pieces from 1899. Sheer genius—and delicious too. (But shame on ECM for providing no opus numbers or dates with the composition titles. Given the care lavished elsewhere, this seems shabby.)

And Demenga is not just a connoisseur of the obscure. This little treasure box gives us three Faurés and a Milhaud, two Chopins and a late Liszt, plus the Bach arrangements that put the stern Lutheran into a comfy chair. This CD is great for home listening, but it’s also a wonderful partner in the car or at an intimate gathering among sophisticated friends. (The Webern op. 11 pieces, though lovingly played, are a bit like radishes in a chocolate box for a novice.) The supporting players are also excellent. Recommended with pleasure.

FANFARE: Eric J. Bruskin
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Works on This Recording

1. Chonguri by Sulkhan Tsintsadze
Performer:  Thomas Demenga (Cello), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Larcher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Georgian Republic 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
2. Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 288 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Thomas Demenga (Cello), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Larcher (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Thomas Demenga. 
3. Herr Gott, nun schleuss der Himmel auf by Johann Gottfried Walther
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Thomas Demenga. 
4. Danse du diable vert by Gaspar Cassadó
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Demenga (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Spain 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
5. Nocturne for Piano in C sharp minor, B 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Demenga (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: The attribution of this composition to Chopin is doubtful. 
6. Romance for Cello and Piano, Op. 69 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Demenga (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
7. Little Pieces (3) for Cello and Piano, Op. 11 by Anton Webern
Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Demenga (Cello), Thomas Larcher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
8. Pieces (2) for Cello and Piano, M 1 - M 2 by Anton Webern
Performer:  Thomas Demenga (Cello), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Larcher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; Preglhof 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
9. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 1124 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1715; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Thomas Demenga. 
10. Après un rêve, Op. 7 no 1 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Pablo Casals. 
11. Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 2 in E flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Thomas Demenga. 
12. La lugubre gondola for Violin/Cello and Piano, S 134 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Demenga (Cello), Thomas Larcher (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882-1885 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
13. Eine kleine Erregung (über Berg und Bach) by Thomas Demenga
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
14. Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 752 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello), Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion)
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
15. Vocalise-étude for voix élevées by Darius Milhaud
Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Demenga (Cello), Thomas Larcher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
16. New York Honk by Thomas Demenga
Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
17. Berceuse for Violin and Piano in D major, Op. 16 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti (Accordion), Thomas Larcher (Piano), Thomas Demenga (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1879; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Clara Wieck Hall, Sandhausen, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Chonguri
Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599/644 - Arr. Thomas Demenga: Das alte Jahr vergangen ist
Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599/644 - Arr. Thomas Demenga: Herr Gott, nun schleuss' den Himmel auf
Danse du diable vert
Nocturne in C sharp minor
Romance, Op.28
3 Little Pieces, Op.11: 1. Mäßige Achtel
3 Little Pieces, Op.11: 2. Sehr bewegt
3 Little Pieces, Op.11: 3. Äußerst ruhig
2 Pieces for Cello and Piano: 1. Langsam
2 Pieces for Cello and Piano: 2. Langsam
Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599/644 - Arr. Thomas Demenga: Ich ruf' zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ
Après un rêve
Nocturne in E flat
La lugubre gondola for Violin/Cello and Piano, S.134
Eine kleine Erregung
Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599/644 - Arr. Thomas Demenga: Meine Seele erhebet den Herrn
Berceuse, Op.16 - Arr. Youro Tkaltchitch: Berceuse, Op.16
Vocalise-étude
New York Honk

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