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August 19 , 2011

Reviews of the Week

In Fono Forum, Holger Arnold compliments the “excellent interpretation of all musicians under the direction of Heinz Holliger” on his new release ”Induuchlen”. The recording´s pieces Toronto-Exercises and Ma´mounia show “Holliger´s preference demonstrating what else besides `classical´ sounds instruments are able to create”.
Arnold also appreciates Holliger´s Bach recording ”Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis and his playing of the oboe that is characterized by “tonal clarity, intelligence and a deeply sensed musicality”.
On digitaljazznews.blogspot.com, Brent Black comments on it as follows: “This particular series by ECM much like their complete discography smashes all preconceived notions and sonic barriers we place upon ourselves. `Concertos for Sinfonias and Oboe´ addresses one of the core elements of classical music but with the idea of a broader appeal in mind. Heinz Holliger is perhaps the world´s finest oboist and the devotee of the chamber/baroque works of Bach should delight in this brilliant recording. (…) This ECM New Series serves as a gentle reminder of true artistic beauty surviving in a world of chaos.”

Gramophone describes the recording “Songs of Ascension” as Meredith Monk´s “most ambitious undertaking yet”; a work that “is imbued with the notion of ascent as a metaphysical as well as a physical journey”. For Richard Whitehouse “the premiere in Sonoma County must have been a tour de force both visually and aurally”, but referred to the recording, he claims that “this account, made at New York´s Academy of Arts and Letters, has the pristine ambience typical of ECM”. He suggests: “Those previously sceptical of Monk should certainly avail themselves of this thought-provoking experience.”

In Gramophone, Peter Quantrill writes about ”Manto and Madrigals” by Thomas Zehetmair and Ruth Killius: “Holliger wrote these `sketches´ for this husband-and-wife partnership and celebrates that distinctive quality Zehetmair´s playing has of dancing round the head of a volcano; so do Rainer Killius´s Icelandic song to a bottle and a rebarbative sort of anti-encore by Johannes Nied, forming the bookends of this entirely original recital, which demands and repays more attention each time I return to it.”
On chambermusiciantoday.com, Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi finds the recording a “spectacular performance that dazzles and delights, unparalleled for beauty and virtuosity”. He describes Three Madrigals (1947) as “the crowning jewel on this recording. It is a meaty, substantive work brimming with rhythmic vitality and deeply satisfying melodies, providing a tour-de-force for both instrumentalists.”

On allaboutjazz.com John Kelman writes about ”Lysøen”: “In a program that combines Bull originals with uncredited traditional sources, new original music and a couple of spontaneous compositions, Økland and Apeland give Bull the attention he deserves, with a recital that brings Norwegian traditionalism into the 21st century – or, at least, demonstrating that this music remains timeless in a new millennium.”