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Two Generations

Kuijken String Quartet

Two Generations

Price: € 20.95
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917218121
Catnr: CC 72181
Release date: 08 October 2007
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917218121
Catalogue number
CC 72181
Release date
08 October 2007
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL
DE

About the album

This recording, by two generations of musicians from the Kuijken family (Veronica, Sigiswald, Sara and Wieland Kuijken), with my wife Marleen Thiers, 2nd viola in the quintet, was made with so-called 'modern' instruments. Although our name is generally linked with 'period performance practice', listeners should not expect or seek a deliberate, specific 'historic' tendency in this recording: this was not what defined our collaboration for this production...

I would even venture to say that in the first place we allowed ourselves to be moved and motivated by the immense strength exuded by these Beethoven pieces, based on our own musical experience and intuition; what we shared was astonishment - and joy. As we went along we became increasingly aware that it can be a gift to have kindred genes; and that an instrument is simply an instrument, no more...
Een genetische synthese
Twee generaties van de familie Kuijken kwamen bij elkaar voor dit bijzondere Beethoven-album: Sigiswals Kuijken en zijn vrouw Marleen von Thiers, met hun kinderen Wieland, Sara en Veronika Kuijken. Sigiswald bezet samen met zijn dochters het strijkkwartet, en Marleen schuift als tweede violiste aan in het kwintet opus 29. De familie bespeelt moderne instrumenten, terwijl zij normaal gesproken authentieke instrumenten bespelen: iets wat dit tot een zeer bijzondere opname maakt. Door het gebruik van deze instrumenten wordt een nieuwe kijk op de muziek van Beethoven gegeven.

In Beethovens kamermuziek worden de diepste emoties en gedachten uitgedrukt in een abstracte muzikale taal. Dat verlangt van de musici dat zij de samenhang en emoties in de stukken weten te vangen. De musicerende familie Kuijken doet dit voortreffelijk. Het ging bij deze opname om het je laten betoveren door de muziek, het samen musiceren én de vreugde van het spel. Het is een groot geschenk om als familie gezamenlijk te kunnen te musiceren, zo zegt Sigiswald. Het resultaat is dan ook een bloedmooie opname, gebracht door een prachtig familie-ensemble.
Zwei Generationen tun sich für diese besondere Beethoven-CD zusammen: Sigiswald Kuijken, Ehefrau Marleen von Thiers, Wieland Kuijken und deren Töchter Sara und Veronika.In dieser Formation wird auf sogenannten modernen Instrumenten eine neue Beethoven-Rezeption eingeleitet. In Beethovens Kammermusik werden die tiefsten Gemütsbewegungen und Gedankengänge in einer völlig abstrakten Tonsprache ausgedrückt; das verlangt von den Interpreten, Zusammenhänge und Emotionen aufs Innigste zu erfassen. Genau das gelingt den Musikern um Sisigwald & Wieland Kuijken aufs vortrefflichste.

Artist(s)

Sigiswald Kuijken

Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at the conservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latter institution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early music at a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own, he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th- and 18th-century performance techniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba. This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing the violin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freely on the shoulder;  this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to the violin repertoire...
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Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at the conservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latter institution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early music at a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own, he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th- and 18th-century performance techniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba. This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing the violin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freely on the shoulder; this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to the violin repertoire and was consequently adopted by many players starting in the early 1970s.
From 1964 to 1972, Sigiswald Kuijken was a member of the Brussels-based Alarius Ensemble (with Wieland Kuijken, Robert Kohnen and Janine Rubinlicht), which performed throughout Europe and in the United States. He subsequently undertook individual chamber music projects with a number of Baroque music specialists, chief among which were his brothers Wieland and Barthold and Robert Kohnen, as well as Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Anner Bylsma and René Jacobs.
In 1972, with the encouragement of Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Gustav Leonhardt, he founded the Baroque orchestra La Petite Bande, which since then has given innumerable concerts throughout Europe, Australia, South America, China and Japan, and has made many recordings for a number of labels (including Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Seon, Virgin, Accent, Denon, Hyperion and Challenge.
In 1986 he founded the Kuijken String Quartet (with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and Wieland Kuijken), which specialises in the quartets and quintets of the Classical period. Recordings of quartets and quintets by Mozart and Haydn have appeared on Denon and Challenge.
Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods (Debussy, Schumann, Beethoven, Schubert) often combined with Lieder by Marie Kuijken, soprano and also daughter of Sigiswald, and Veronica Kuijken, piano. Recordings of the two generations have been made for Arcana and Challenge Records.
In 2004 Sigiswald Kuijken reintroduced in practical performance the violoncello da spalla (shoulder cello) very probably the instrument Bach had in mind when writing his six suites for violoncello solo.
From 1971 to 1996, Sigiswald Kuijken taught Baroque violin at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and from 1993 to 2009 at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels.
For many years he was a guest teacher at institutions such as the Royal College of Music in London, Salamanca University, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, the Conservatoire of Geneva and the Musikhochschule of Leipzig. Since 1998, Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally conducts “modern” symphonic orchestras in romantic programs ( Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn).

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Veronica Kuijken

Veronica Kuijken (1978) started to play piano at age six and violin at age eight. She went to the Brussels conservatory at the age of 16 in the piano class of Daniel Blumenthal. There she took her master's degree in piano cum laude in June 1999. After two years of violin lessons, and privately tutoring for seven years she continued her studies in London and obtained a master's degree in violin in September 1998 (via the Central Examining Committee of the Flemish Community). She has been studying at the Musikhochschule in Winterthur (Switzerland) since October 1999. In 1997 Veronica was selected as a violinist in the European Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer, Semyon Bychkov and Pierre Boulez....
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Veronica Kuijken (1978) started to play piano at age six and violin at age eight. She went to the Brussels conservatory at the age of 16 in the piano class of Daniel Blumenthal. There she took her master's degree in piano cum laude in June 1999. After two years of violin lessons, and privately tutoring for seven years she continued her studies in London and obtained a master's degree in violin in September 1998 (via the Central Examining Committee of the Flemish Community). She has been studying at the Musikhochschule in Winterthur (Switzerland) since October 1999. In 1997 Veronica was selected as a violinist in the European Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer, Semyon Bychkov and Pierre Boulez. Alongside her studies, Veronica Kuijken and her sister Marie (soprano and pianist) have performed since 1993 as the 'I Pulcini' duo. Veronica has regularly played with the Kammerorchester Basel since 2000, and holds a part-time position as piano accompanist with the Conservatory of Music in Lausanne and as harpsichord accompanist in the Geneva Conservatory.

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Wieland Kuijken

Wieland Kuijken (1938) obtained a Higher Certificate in cello at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 1959. Taught himself to play viola da gamba and 17th and 18th century performance practice. Performed avantgarde music until the late seventies. He often worked together with his two brothers Barthold and Sigiswald and harpsichordist Robert Kohnen. He is much sought after as a teacher and as a cellist known for his interpretation of Bach's solo suites. He also occasionally works as a conductor.
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Wieland Kuijken (1938) obtained a Higher Certificate in cello at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 1959. Taught himself to play viola da gamba and 17th and 18th century performance practice. Performed avantgarde music until the late seventies. He often worked together with his two brothers Barthold and Sigiswald and harpsichordist Robert Kohnen. He is much sought after as a teacher and as a cellist known for his interpretation of Bach's solo suites. He also occasionally works as a conductor.

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Kuijken String Quartet

In 1986 the Kuijken String Quartet was founded by early music specialist Sigiswald Kuijken, with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and his brother Wieland Kuijken. The ensemble specializes in the quartets and quintets of the Classical period, and is renowned for its important contribution to authentic playing of stringed instruments, especially in works of Haydn and Mozart. The quartet has made numerous acclaimed recordings and toured Europe and North America. Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods, such as those by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Debussy. This quartet is also known as the Kuijken String Quartet.
more
In 1986 the Kuijken String Quartet was founded by early music specialist Sigiswald Kuijken, with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and his brother Wieland Kuijken. The ensemble specializes in the quartets and quintets of the Classical period, and is renowned for its important contribution to authentic playing of stringed instruments, especially in works of Haydn and Mozart. The quartet has made numerous acclaimed recordings and toured Europe and North America.
Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods, such as those by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Debussy. This quartet is also known as the Kuijken String Quartet.

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Marleen Thiers

Marleen Thiers (1945) studied with Arthur Grumiaux and Maurice Raskin at the Conservatory of Brussels. Just like her husband, Sigiswald Kuijken, she immediately showed a special penchant for period instruments and performance practice. She plays first viola in La Petite Bande and is a cofounder and viola player with the Two Generations Kuijken.
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Marleen Thiers (1945) studied with Arthur Grumiaux and Maurice Raskin at the Conservatory of Brussels. Just like her husband, Sigiswald Kuijken, she immediately showed a special penchant for period instruments and performance practice. She plays first viola in La Petite Bande and is a cofounder and viola player with the Two Generations Kuijken.

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Sara Kuijken

Sara Kuijken (1968) studied viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where she obtained a 1st prize in 1989 and in 1992 the Higher Certificate magna cum laude. At the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam she obtained a degree as a performing musician in 1995. Together with seven other musicians, she founded the Oxalys chamber music ensemble, in which she played viola and served as artistic director until 1998. This ensemble released two CDs, with impressionist and with contemporary Russian chamber music. Her father Sigiswald Kuijken gave her some baroque violin instruction in 1994. She is a regular participant in La Petite Bande. Since the academic year 2005-06 she has been assistant instructor of baroque violin at the Royal...
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Sara Kuijken (1968) studied viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where she obtained a 1st prize in 1989 and in 1992 the Higher Certificate magna cum laude. At the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam she obtained a degree as a performing musician in 1995. Together with seven other musicians, she founded the Oxalys chamber music ensemble, in which she played viola and served as artistic director until 1998. This ensemble released two CDs, with impressionist and with contemporary Russian chamber music. Her father Sigiswald Kuijken gave her some baroque violin instruction in 1994. She is a regular participant in La Petite Bande. Since the academic year 2005-06 she has been assistant instructor of baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels.

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Composer(s)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School.    Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob...
more
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn, and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life.

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Often bought together with..

Gambomania
Ralph Rousseau
Vespro della Beata Vergine
La Petite Bande
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