Title: Manto and Madrigals, Thomas Zehetmair
In their first recording as a duo, violinist Thomas Zehetmair and violist Ruth Killius take the listener on a stunning tour of modern music, playing works by Bartok, Holliger, Scelsi, Martinu, Skalkottas, Rainer Killius, Johannes Nied and Peter Maxwell Davies. "The instruments dazzle, dance and declaim, play games with one another", remarks Paul Griffiths in the liner notes.
The husband and wife team who comprise half of the multi-award winning Zehetmair Quartet have been playing this material as part of their recital work for several years already, with great success. These pieces formed the core of their performance at ECM's 40th anniversary festival in Mannheim - a concert singled out by critics as a highlight of the event.
On this recording, the relationships between the pieces and between the instruments are explored in compositions that range from Scelsi's dissonant and microtonal journey toward the mystic core of music making, with Killius as singer as well as viola soloist to duo pieces that incorporate elements, archaic or playful, from regional folk music. There is very early Bartok here, and music of Schoenberg's sole Greek pupil Skalkottas. There are three sketches by Heinz Holliger, written especially for Zehetmair and Killius, playful madrigals by Martinu, and an encore provided by the performers' friend Johannes Nied.
Thomas Zehetmair, virtuoso violinist, conductor, and musical director of the Northen Sinfonia, has recorded Holliger's Violin Concerto for ECM and his solo discs of Ysaye and Paginini won great critical acclaim. He and Ruth Killius co-founded the Zehetmair Quartet in 1994. Their Schumann Quartets album was Gramophone's Record of the Year in 2003 and the recent disc of Hindemith and Bartok was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'Annee.
Thomas Zehetmair (violin), Ruth Killius (viola, solo on 2-4)
1. O Min Flaskan Fri?a Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
2. Manto (1957): I Ruth Killius
3. Manto (1957): II Ruth Killius
4. Manto (1957): III Ruth Killius
5. Drei Skizzen (2006): I Pirouettes harmoniques Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
6. Drei Skizzen (2006): II Danse dense Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius 7. Drei Skizzen (2006): III Cantique a six voix Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
8. Duo (1902) Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
9. Duo (1938): I Allegro vivo Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
10. Duo (1938): II Andante Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
11. Duo (1938): III Ben ritenuto Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
12. Midhouse Air (1996) Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
13. Three Madrigals (1947): I Poco allegro Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
14. Three Madrigals (1947): II Poco andante Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
15. Three Madrigals (1947): III Allegro Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius 16. Zugabe (2004) Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Killius
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