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In Memoriam II: The Scordatura Album
Johann Sebastian Bach, Benjamin Britten, Zoltán Kodály

Pieter Wispelwey

In Memoriam II: The Scordatura Album

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Evil Penguin
UPC: 0608917724325
Catnr: EPRC 0056
Release date: 06 October 2023
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Label
Evil Penguin
UPC
0608917724325
Catalogue number
EPRC 0056
Release date
06 October 2023

"The Kodaly Suite has probably never been heard as stirred up as in this highly intense, profound and from the first minute incessantly captivating interpretation. Wispelwey also achieves an extraordinary depth of feeling in Bach’s Fifth Suite, rooted in sensitive phrasing and the highest intensity of expression. The Passacaglia from Benjamin Britten’s 3rd Sonata concludes the program with plaintive gestures, not without the mourning father expressing almost tender thoughts of his dead son even in lighter moments, but which can also lead to inner revolt. And so ends a CD that will probably leave no one untouched."

Pizzicato, 16-10-2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
EN

About the album

“This Scordatura Album is the second In Memoriam album in honour of my son Dorian. It features two illustrious masterpieces written for cello in alternative, darker tunings: the Bach Suite with the top string lowered by a whole tone and the Kodály Sonata with the two bottom strings lowered by a semitone. Both pieces are fierce, resilient and profound and although painted in dark colours, they comfort us with their show of sheer musical power and luminous inventiveness.”

Artist(s)

Pieter Wispelwey

Pieter Wispelwey is equally at ease on the modern or period cello. His acute stylistic awareness, combined with a truly original interpretation and a phenomenal technical mastery, has won the hearts of critics and public alike in repertoire ranging from JS Bach to Schnittke, Elliott Carter and works composed for him. Pieter Wispelwey enjoys chamber music collaborations and regular duo partners include pianists Cédric Tiberghien and Alasdair Beatson and he appears as a guest artist with a number of string quartets including the Australian String Quartet. Wispelwey’s career spans five continents and he has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, London Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, Danish National Radio...
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Pieter Wispelwey is equally at ease on the modern or period cello. His acute stylistic awareness, combined with a truly original interpretation and a phenomenal technical mastery, has won the hearts of critics and public alike in repertoire ranging from JS Bach to Schnittke, Elliott Carter and works composed for him.
Pieter Wispelwey enjoys chamber music collaborations and regular duo partners include pianists Cédric Tiberghien and Alasdair Beatson and he appears as a guest artist with a number of string quartets including the Australian String Quartet.
Wispelwey’s career spans five continents and he has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, London Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, Danish National Radio Symphony and Camerata Salzburg. Conductor collaborations include Ivan Fischer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jeffrey Tate, Kent Nagano, Sir Neville Marriner, Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman and Sir Roger Norrington.
With regular recital appearances in London (Wigmore Hall), Paris (Châtelet, Louvre), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw), Brussels (Bozar), Berlin (Konzerthaus), Milan (Societta del Quartetto), Buenos Aires (Teatro Colon), Sydney (The Utzon Room), Los Angeles (Walt Disney Hall) and New York (Lincoln Center), Wispelwey has established a reputation as one of the most charismatic recitalists on the circuit.
In 2012 Wispelwey celebrated his 50th birthday by embarking on a project showcasing the Bach Cello Suites. He recorded the complete Suites for the third time. A major strand of his recital performances is his performances of the complete suites during the course of one evening, an accomplishment that has attracted major critical acclaim throughout Europe and the US. Pieter Wispelwey plays on a 1760 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini cello and a 1710 Rombouts baroque cello.

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Composer(s)

Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with...
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Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with the legendary cellist Rostropovich led to a Cello sonata, three Suites for cello solo and a Symphony for Cello and orchestra in the 1960s.

Britten never became Master of the Queen's Music, yet he surely had feeling for public sentiments. For example, as a pacifist, he taught his people about world peace through his War Requiem from 1962. Britten was an excellent interpreter of his own work, just like Bartók and Stravinsky. Many of his recordings have been matched, but never exceeded.


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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.  Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.  
more

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.


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Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály was a Hungarian composer, born in 1905. If you would read Kodály's biography, you could only do so with increasing astonishment. Not only did he reach the honarable age of 84, throughout his whole life he remained astoundingly prolific - and with great success. Moreover, besides his work as a composer, Kodály was active as a conductor, (ethno-)musicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher. And in each of these areas, he had a pioneering role, always with exceptional passion and dedication. To name but one example: together with his friend Belá Bartók he worked on a ten volume reference guide to Hungarian music, which appeared from 1951 with each volume spanning more than a thousand pages. Yet, Kodály gained acclaim for his compositions as...
more

Zoltán Kodály was a Hungarian composer, born in 1905. If you would read Kodály's biography, you could only do so with increasing astonishment. Not only did he reach the honarable age of 84, throughout his whole life he remained astoundingly prolific - and with great success. Moreover, besides his work as a composer, Kodály was active as a conductor, (ethno-)musicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher. And in each of these areas, he had a pioneering role, always with exceptional passion and dedication. To name but one example: together with his friend Belá Bartók he worked on a ten volume reference guide to Hungarian music, which appeared from 1951 with each volume spanning more than a thousand pages.
Yet, Kodály gained acclaim for his compositions as well, with his Psalmus hungaricus (1923) en his opera Háry János (1926) as the pinnacles of his musical career. The core of his body of work consists of vocal music, in particular works for choir, but his instrumental music is just as impressive. His master piece Laudes Organi, written one year before his death, truly proves that Kodály's creative energy stayed with him to the bitter end.


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Press

The Kodaly Suite has probably never been heard as stirred up as in this highly intense, profound and from the first minute incessantly captivating interpretation. Wispelwey also achieves an extraordinary depth of feeling in Bach’s Fifth Suite, rooted in sensitive phrasing and the highest intensity of expression. The Passacaglia from Benjamin Britten’s 3rd Sonata concludes the program with plaintive gestures, not without the mourning father expressing almost tender thoughts of his dead son even in lighter moments, but which can also lead to inner revolt. And so ends a CD that will probably leave no one untouched.
Pizzicato, 16-10-2023

In summary, a sublimely composed and performed musical tribute that also movingly brings musical memories of the prodigal son to life.
Opus Klassiek, 01-10-2023

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