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Tales

Asterope Ensemble

Tales

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD
Label: Antarctica
UPC: 0608917732825
Catnr: AR 028
Release date: 01 October 2021
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Label
Antarctica
UPC
0608917732825
Catalogue number
AR 028
Release date
01 October 2021
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
DE

About the album

Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leoš Janáček and Guillaume Connesson are three remarkable composers, seemingly very different. Nevertheless, in their compositions for cello and piano, they all wrote eloquent and articulate pieces that manage to do one and the same thing. They tell distinctive yet expressive stories which, almost immediately, bewilder us and trigger our imagination.

Even though Rachmaninoff’s piece is sizable, we should note that Janáček’s Pohádka is based on an epic Russian poem and that Connesson’s “Les Chants de l’Agartha” in turn drew inspiration from mythological tales. It’s quite amusing to realise that all three pieces end with a sort of “dance for a king”, whether it be a Tsar, a King of the World or a forceful pianist and his cantillate cello friend.

There are quite a few triangular relations between the pieces but overall, what strikes us is that both Connesson’s and Janáček’s works portray specific “scènes” rather than telling an overarching story. It is swift storytelling in a fun but flowing way.

Even Rachmaninoff’s four more elaborate movements are little gems on their own. It’s little surprise that the sonata’s third movement is often performed separately or as an encore.

From a musical perspective the piano in all three pieces is not merely an accompaniment or a supporting guide but a true brother in arms (or partner in crime, as you please).

The role of the pianist is very much equal to that of the cellist. At many important turning points it sets the right mood, the precise ambiance, and frequently introduces a musical theme. This last aspect is especially noticeable in the Rachmaninoff sonata.

Emmanuel and Damien act as two narrators performing chamber music with a great deal of affection. At the end of the day such outstanding music requires a duo of equals searching for balance between the corresponding lines, to create a sincere interpretation. Over the course of this delightful recording, they succeeded in doing so.

This CD could be enjoyed as a gathering of imaginative tales, told with great devotion.

Sergej Rachmaninow, Leoš Janáček und Guillaume Connesson sind drei bemerkenswerte Komponisten, die allem Anschein nach sehr unterschiedlich sind. Dennoch schrieben sie alle in ihren Kompositionen für Cello und Klavier wortgewaltige und ausdrucksstarke Stücke, die ein und dasselbe bewirken. Sie erzählen unverwechselbare und doch ausdrucksstarke Geschichten, die uns fast sofort verwirren und unsere Phantasie anregen.

Auch wenn Rachmaninoffs Stück sehr umfangreich ist, sollten wir beachten, dass Janáčeks Pohádka auf einem epischen russischen Gedicht basiert und dass Connessons "Les Chants de l'Agartha" wiederum von mythologischen Erzählungen inspiriert wurde. Es ist recht amüsant festzustellen, dass alle drei Stücke mit einer Art "Tanz für einen König" enden, sei es ein Zar, ein König der Welt oder ein kräftiger Pianist und sein kantiler Cellofreund.

Es gibt eine ganze Reihe von Dreiecksbeziehungen zwischen den Stücken, aber insgesamt fällt auf, dass sowohl Connessons als auch Janáčeks Werke eher spezifische "scènes" darstellen als eine übergreifende Geschichte zu erzählen. Es ist ein schnelles Erzählen auf eine unterhaltsame, aber fließende Art.

Selbst Rachmaninoffs vier aufwändigere Sätze sind für sich genommen kleine Juwelen. Es ist wenig überraschend, dass der dritte Satz der Sonate oft separat oder als Zugabe gespielt wird.

Aus musikalischer Sicht ist das Klavier in allen drei Stücken nicht nur eine Begleitung oder ein unterstützender Führer, sondern ein echter Mitstreiter (oder Partner in Crime, wie man will).

Die Rolle des Pianisten ist der des Cellisten durchaus ebenbürtig. An vielen wichtigen Wendepunkten sorgt er für die richtige Stimmung, das richtige Ambiente und führt häufig ein musikalisches Thema ein. Dieser letzte Aspekt ist besonders in der Rachmaninoff-Sonate zu hören.

Emmanuel und Damien agieren wie zwei Erzähler, die die Kammermusik mit viel Zuneigung vortragen. Letztendlich erfordert solch herausragende Musik ein Duo auf Augenhöhe, das nach einem Gleichgewicht zwischen den entsprechenden Linien sucht, um eine aufrichtige Interpretation zu schaffen. Im Verlauf dieser reizvollen Aufnahme ist ihnen das gelungen.

Man kann diese CD als eine Ansammlung von phantasievollen Geschichten genießen, die mit großer Hingabe erzählt werden.

Artist(s)

Damien Bossy (piano)

Asterope Ensemble

Since they met in 2004 Damien Bossy and Emmanuel Tondus have been passionate chamber musicians : first at the Conservatoire Royal de Mons (under Luc Dewez, Rosella Clini and David Cohen), and then at the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris (under the guidance of Nina Patarcec, Hélène Dautry, and Maestro Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri). They have a real love of music, in particular music for cello and piano, and it’s this passion that encourages them to embrace as eclectic a concert repertoire as possible, including solo and duet dances, baroque and modern music, more obscure or original works, as well as the main sonata repertoire. They also play in larger ensembles. Their first CD, recorded in 2015, focussed on Beethoven,...
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Since they met in 2004 Damien Bossy and Emmanuel Tondus have been passionate chamber musicians : first at the Conservatoire Royal de Mons (under Luc Dewez, Rosella Clini and David Cohen), and then at the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris (under the guidance of Nina Patarcec, Hélène Dautry, and Maestro Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri).

They have a real love of music, in particular music for cello and piano, and it’s this passion that encourages them to embrace as eclectic a concert repertoire as possible, including solo and duet dances, baroque and modern music, more obscure or original works, as well as the main sonata repertoire. They also play in larger ensembles.

Their first CD, recorded in 2015, focussed on Beethoven, Brahms and Schostakovitch. It was a snapshot of their musical cooperation and their desire to use a shared language.

Over 15 years of performing together in different places and for differ- ent occasions (concerts, performances and recordings) a musical bond developed, and in 2019 Emmanuel and Damien decided to launch the “Ensemble Astérope” (a double star in the Pleiades star cluster), the embodiment of their shared language and the commitment they put in every day. Common tastes and different personalities merging to create heartfelt, intuitive music.


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Composer(s)

Leoš Janáček

Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer and folklorist. He was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style. Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to folkloristic research and his early musical output was influenced by contemporaries such as Antonín Dvořák. His later, mature works incorporate his earlier studies of national folk music in a modern, highly original synthesis, first evident in the opera Jenůfa, which was premiered in 1904 in Brno. The success of Jenůfa (often called the 'Moravian national opera') at Prague in 1916 gave Janáček access to the world's great opera stages. Janáček's later works are his most celebrated. They include operas such as Káťa Kabanová and The Cunning Little Vixen, the...
more
Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer and folklorist. He was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style.
Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to folkloristic research and his early musical output was influenced by contemporaries such as Antonín Dvořák. His later, mature works incorporate his earlier studies of national folk music in a modern, highly original synthesis, first evident in the opera Jenůfa, which was premiered in 1904 in Brno. The success of Jenůfa (often called the "Moravian national opera") at Prague in 1916 gave Janáček access to the world's great opera stages. Janáček's later works are his most celebrated. They include operas such as Káťa Kabanová and The Cunning Little Vixen, the Sinfonietta, the Glagolitic Mass, the rhapsody Taras Bulba, two string quartets, and other chamber works. Along with Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana, he is considered one of the most important Czech composers.

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Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the classical repertoire. Born into a musical family, Rachmaninov took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 and had composed several piano and orchestral pieces by this time. In 1897, following the critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. After the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninov and his family left Russia and resided in the United States, first in New York City. Demanding piano concert tour schedules caused...
more
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the classical repertoire.
Born into a musical family, Rachmaninov took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 and had composed several piano and orchestral pieces by this time. In 1897, following the critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. After the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninov and his family left Russia and resided in the United States, first in New York City. Demanding piano concert tour schedules caused his output as composer to slow tremendously; between 1918 and 1943, he completed just six compositions, including Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Symphony No. 3, and Symphonic Dances. In 1942, Rachmaninov moved to Beverly Hills, California. One month before his death from advanced melanoma, Rachmaninov acquired American citizenship.
Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and his use of rich orchestral colors.[3] The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninov's compositional output, and through his own skills as a performer he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument.

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