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Birtwistle: Chamber Music, Songs / Fellner, Brendel, Batiashivilli, Freston

Release Date: 04/29/2014 
Label:  Ecm   Catalog #: 002043602   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Harrison Birtwistle
Performer:  Lisa BatiashviliTill FellnerAdrian BrendelRoderick Williams,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This album of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s chamber music and songs, mostly of recent vintage, is issued as the innovative Great British composer approaches his 80th birthday. It features an exceptional cast. Heard together and separately is the trio of Austrian pianist Till Fellner, Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili and English cellist Adrian Brendel. They are joined by London-born singers Amy Freston and Roderick Williams. The compositions include “Bogenstrich” written in 2006 as a short piece in tribute to Alfred Brendel and first played by his son Adrian together with Fellner. It was subsequently expanded into a cycle with the addition of settings of Rilke for baritone, cello and piano. The “Trio” is the newest piece, premiered in 2011, a Read more 16-minute single movement work of elaborate patterning, gestures and responses, for piano, violin and cello. Settings of the writings of US Objectivist poet Lorine Niedecker (1903- 1970), scored for soprano and cello in 1998 and 2000, begin and close the album. As Bayan Northcott writes in the booklet, “These concentrated songs demand the utmost of their performers in precision, expression and timing. As in Webern’s settings, the few words and notes on the page can seem to imply whole worlds of thought and feeling”. This highly-concentrated chamber-scale expressivity is felt throughout the entire album, recorded at Munich’s famed Herkulessaal, and produced by Manfred Eicher. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Trio for Piano and Strings by Harrison Birtwistle
Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili (Violin), Till Fellner (Piano), Adrian Brendel (Cello)
2. Bogenstrich by Harrison Birtwistle
Performer:  Till Fellner (Piano), Adrian Brendel (Cello), Roderick Williams (Baritone)
Written: 2006 
3. Settings (9) of Lorine Niedecker by Harrison Birtwistle
Performer:  Amy Freston (Soprano), Adrian Brendel (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1998-2000; England 
4. Settings (3) of Lorine Niedecker by Harrison Birtwistle
Performer:  Amy Freston (Soprano), Adrian Brendel (Cello)

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