Brodsky Quartet / Anne Sofie von Otter

Island Dreaming / String Quartets

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917200720
Catnr: CC 72007
Release date: 19 May 1996
1 CD
 
Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917200720
Catalogue number
CC 72007
Release date
19 May 1996
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL

About the album

Island Dreaming
String Quartets by Peter Sculthorpe
For a long time the British flag fluttered over the musical life of Australia. However (or perhaps we should say therefore), composers had been searching for their own musical identity as early as the middle of the 19th cen- tury. In 1849 Isaac Nathan (1790-1864) published a volume of transcriptions of Aboriginal songs, tailored for the salon through the addition of discreet Victorian piano accompaniments. It was Percy Grainger (1881-1961), who, in the quest for a peculiarly Australian music, discovered the unique landscape of the continent as a source of inspiration:“[Australia is] sure to be a much-meaning land for tone-art, with heaven- tinted voices that tone-mir- ror the rich purple hills seen at some farness in the Australian air.”

Also for Peter Sculthorpe, the spiritual father of new music in Australia, the landscape is an important source of inspiration. Born as a “simple country boy” in Launceston, Tasmania, Sculthorpe studied at the University of Melbourne. Because he felt the need to develop himself further in the “old country,” he moved to Oxford, where his teachers were Egon Wellesz and Edmund Rubbra. The death of his father in 1961 brought him back to the land of his birth. June of that year saw the creation of Irkanda IV, according to Sculthorpe his first mature com- position.The word “irkanda” is an Aboriginal word that Sculthorpe interprets as meaning a remote and isolated place.This work for violin, strings and percussion is the music of a lonely soul in a world which has lost the bond 5 with the earth and its ancestors, a theme which runs through his whole output: “I probably was that lonely soul. But more and more I became one with the landscape and the solitude and loneliness went away.”

The manner in which the Australian landscape can serve as the basis for an indigenous musical tradition is descri- bed by Sculthorpe with reference to his orchestral work Earth Cry (1986, arranged for string quartet in 1994) as follows:“The lack of a common cause and the self-interest of many have drained us [Australians] of much of our energy. A bogus national identity and its commercialisation have obscured the true breadth of our culture. [...] Perhaps we now need to attune ourselves to this continent, to listen to the cry of the earth, as the Aborigines have done for many thousands of years.”

Het Australische landschap uitgedrukt in muziek
Dit album bevat werken van de Australische componist Peter Sculthorpe (1929-2014), uitgevoerd door het Engelse Brodsky Quartet en de Zweedse mezzosopraan Anne Sofie van Otter.

Australische componisten hadden sinds het midden van de negentiende eeuw gezocht naar hun eigen muzikale identiteit, mogelijk als gevolg van de Britse kolonisatie. Peter Sculthorpe laat zich bij het maken van zijn composities inspireren door het landschap. Zo is strijkkwartet no. 11 ‘Jabiru Dreaming’ geïnspireerd door het landschap van Kakadu National Park, en is strijkkwartet no. 13 ‘Island Dreaming’ gebaseerd op de muziek van de Straat Torreseilanden. Een thema wat vaak in zijn werken voorkomt is de eenzame persoon (waarschijnlijk de componist zelf) in een wereld die zijn banden met de aarde en zijn voorouders is kwijtgeraakt.

Artist(s)

Brodsky Quartet

Since its formation in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet has performed over 3000 concerts on the major stages of the world and has released more than 60 recordings. A natural curiosity and an insatiable desire to explore has propelled the group in a number of artistic directions and continues to ensure them not only a prominent presence on the international chamber music scene, but also a rich and varied musical existence. Their energy and craftsmanship has attracted numerous awards and accolades worldwide, while ongoing educational work provides a vehicle for passing on experience and staying in touch with the next generation. Throughout their 40-year career, the Brodsky Quartet has enjoyed a busy international performing schedule, and has toured extensively throughout Australasia, North...
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Since its formation in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet has performed over 3000 concerts on the major stages of the world and has released more than 60 recordings. A natural curiosity and an insatiable desire to explore has propelled the group in a number of artistic directions and continues to ensure them not only a prominent presence on the international chamber music scene, but also a rich and varied musical existence. Their energy and craftsmanship has attracted numerous awards and accolades worldwide, while ongoing educational work provides a vehicle for passing on experience and staying in touch with the next generation.
Throughout their 40-year career, the Brodsky Quartet has enjoyed a busy international performing schedule, and has toured extensively throughout Australasia, North and South America, Asia, South Africa, and Europe, as well as performing at many of the UK’s major festivals and venues. The quartet is also regularly recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio. Over the years the Brodsky Quartet has undertaken numerous performances of the complete cycles of quartets by Schubert, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Britten, Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, Webern and Bartok. It is, however, the complete Shostakovich cycle that has now become synonymous with their name: their 2012 London performance of the cycle resulting in them taking the prestigious title of ‘Artist in Residence’ at London’s Kings Place.
The Brodsky Quartet also has a busy recording career, and 2012 marked the beginning of a new and exclusive relationship with Chandos Records. Releases on the label so far include Petits Fours,a celebratory album of ‘Encore’ pieces, arranged exclusively by the Quartet for their 40th anniversary; a Debussy compilation including the Quartet's long-awaited recording of the great Debussy Quartet; In the South featuring works by Verdi, Paganini, Wolf and Puccini; New World Quartets comprising works by Dvorak, Copland, Gershwin and Brubeck; and the first of two Brahms discs which includes the iconic Clarinet Quintet with collaborating partner, Michael Collins. Recent awards for recordings include the Diapason D'Or and the CHOC du Monde de la Musique for their recordings of string quartets by Britten, Beethoven and Janacek, and, for their outstanding contribution to innovation in programming, the Brodsky Quartet has received a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. They have taught at many international chamber music courses and held residencies in several music institutes, including the first such post at the University of Cambridge. They are currently International Fellows of Chamber Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and have been awarded Honorary Doctorates at the University of Kent and University of Teesside.
The Quartet is named after the great Russian violinist Adolf Brodsky, dedicatee of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto and a passionate chamber musician.
Daniel Rowland plays a violin made by Lorenzo Storioni of Cremona in 1793; Ian Belton’s violin is by Gio. Paolo Maggini c.1615 and Paul Cassidy plays on La Delfina viola, c. 1720, courtesy of Sra. Delfina Entrecanales. Jacqueline Thomas plays a cello made by Thomas Perry in 1785.


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Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo soprano)

Internationally acclaimed Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has long been considered one of the finest singers of her generation. A lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced a wealth of recordings. Anne Sofie von Otter earned an international reputation as an outstanding Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) with performances at the Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris, and the Wiener Staatsoper. Other seminal opera recordings include Le nozze di Figaro under James Levine, Idomeneo, La clemenza di Tito and Orfeo ed Euridice under John Eliot Gardiner, Handel’s Ariodante and Hercules under Marc Minkowski and Ariadne auf Naxos under Giuseppe Sinopoli. The diversity of this ever-evolving repertoire has played a key role in sustaining her international reputation as an...
more
Internationally acclaimed Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has long been considered one of the finest singers of her generation. A lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced a wealth of recordings.
Anne Sofie von Otter earned an international reputation as an outstanding Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) with performances at the Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris, and the Wiener Staatsoper. Other seminal opera recordings include Le nozze di Figaro under James Levine, Idomeneo, La clemenza di Tito and Orfeo ed Euridice under John Eliot Gardiner, Handel’s Ariodante and Hercules under Marc Minkowski and Ariadne auf Naxos under Giuseppe Sinopoli. The diversity of this ever-evolving repertoire has played a key role in sustaining her international reputation as an operatic force.
A busy concert schedule takes Anne Sofie von Otter to all corners of the globe.Highlights include appearances with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under David Robertson, the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Daniele Gatti and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Sakari Oramo. She performed Wesendonck Lieder with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and with the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt as part of the Wagner bicentenary. In 2011 she appeared with Jonas Kaufmann and the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Claudio Abbado for a televised performance of Das Lied von der Erde on the one hundredth anniversary of Mahler’s death.

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