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Franck & Martin, Piano Quintets
Frank Martin, César Franck

Martin Klett & Armida Quartett

Franck & Martin, Piano Quintets

Price: € 19.95 13.97
Format: CD
Label: CAvi
UPC: 4260085535279
Catnr: AVI 8553527
Release date: 05 May 2023
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Label
CAvi
UPC
4260085535279
Catalogue number
AVI 8553527
Release date
05 May 2023

"Pianissisimi rarely sound so beautiful."

De Standaard, 21-6-2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
EN
DE

About the album

Late Romantic Piano Quintets

“… We only have two hands, and our ten fingers are not capable of exploiting all the possibilities”: that is how composer Frank Martin (1890-1974) once described the inadequacies of the keyboard. However, pianist Martin Klett and the members of the Armida Quartet view things somewhat differently. Similarly to the string quartet as a whole ensemble, the piano forms “a perfect unit in itself”, Klett affirms.

And the musical genre of the piano quintet has its own special charm, owing to that autonomy and independence of its two main elements. According to Klett, the piano quintet is ”the perfect line-up in chamber music”, since “the two components have a wide spectrum of sonorities at their disposal, enabling them to bring out all the timbre qualities we know from chamber as well as orchestral music, from the most intimate sonorities imaginable to the dense amassment of sound we encounter in a symphony!”

The five musicians on this recording savor every nuance of the line-up in which they are involved; in so doing, they are able to highlight the two highly different musical personalities of Frank Martin and César Franck (1822-1890), each of whom approached the genre from thoroughly different angles. Frank Martin viewed César Franck, two generations his elder, as an important master: “the first musician [...] who enabled me to disengage myself from Classical music”, as he remarked in retrospect.

Born in Geneva, Frank Martin would eventually become a true “outsider of new music”; his Piano Quintet, one of his early works, still bears the traces of the “Classical” tradition as well as of the legacy of his musical predecessor César Franck. What did Frank Martin mean by “Classical”? For him, it was clear: “J’étais dans Bach, encore dans Bach et dans Bach toujours...” (“I was fully into Bach, and still into Bach, and always into Bach”).
(Excerpts from the liner notes)
Spätromantische Klavierquintette

„...man hat nur zwei Hände, und unsere zehn Finger sind nicht imstande, alle Möglichkeiten auszunützen“, äußerte
Frank Martin (1890-1974) seinerzeit über die Unzulänglichkeit des Klaviers. Etwas anders sehen es die Musikerinnen
und Musiker des Armida Quartetts und der Pianist Martin Klett: Das Klavier sei, genau wie das Streichquartett „eine in
sich perfekte Einheit“, so der Pianist.

Und genau in der Eigenständigkeit der beiden Klangkörper liege der Reiz des Genres Klavierquintett, – für Klett die
„perfekte kammermusikalische Besetzung“, denn „gemeinsam steht ihnen ein so großes klangliches Spektrum zur
Verfügung, dass alle kammermusikalischen, aber auch alle orchestralen Qualitäten zur Geltung kommen:

Von
intimsten Klangfarben bis zu großer sinfonischer Dichte!“ In diesem Sinn kosten die Musikerinnen und Musiker alle
Nuancen des Klangkörpers aus und profilieren dabei die beiden Persönlichkeiten Frank Martin und César Franck
(1822-1890), die sich der Gattung auf ganz unterschiedliche Weise nähern.

Für Martin war der zwei Generationen
ältere Franck ein wichtiger Lehrmeister, „der erste Musiker, […] der mir dazu verhalf, mich von der klassischen Musik
loszulösen“, so Martin im Rückblick. Vor allem in seinem Frühwerk, dem das 1919 entstandene Klavierquintett
zuzurechnen ist, wird Francks Erbe mindestens ebenso spürbar wie das „klassische“.

Was klassisch für den
„Außenseiter der neuen Musik“ in diesem Zusammenhang bedeutete, äußerte er unmissverständlich: „J’étais dans
Bach, encore dans Bach et dans Bach toujours...“ („Ich hatte den Kopf voll mit Bach, nochmal mit Bach und
immernoch mit Bach.“)
(Auszug aus dem Booklettext)

Artist(s)

Martin Klett (piano)

The pianist Martin Klett transcends borders with his effortless musicianship. With equal commitment and refinement, he performs classical piano concertos and jazzy recitals with duo partner Sebastian Manz. The press lauds the “cultivated, spirited touch” (Crescendo) and “suave technique” (Piano News) of his Rachmaninoff album and his “passion, ease and precision” (Rheinpfalz) in tango programmes with the Cuarteto SolTango. This diversity is not only apparent on stage but also in his discography. With the release of Lamento in 2019, this comprises ten CDs – two solo albums, five chamber music recordings and three releases with the Cuarteto SolTango. Regular live recordings and interviews attest to a vivid interest from broadcasters in Martin Klett’s artistic oeuvre. 2008 was an important year for Martin Klett, when he won both the Johannes...
more

The pianist Martin Klett transcends borders with his effortless musicianship. With equal commitment and refinement, he performs classical piano concertos and jazzy recitals with duo partner Sebastian Manz. The press lauds the “cultivated, spirited touch” (Crescendo) and “suave technique” (Piano News) of his Rachmaninoff album and his “passion, ease and precision” (Rheinpfalz) in tango programmes with the Cuarteto SolTango.
This diversity is not only apparent on stage but also in his discography. With the release of Lamento in 2019, this comprises ten CDs – two solo albums, five chamber music recordings and three releases with the Cuarteto SolTango. Regular live recordings and interviews attest to a vivid interest from broadcasters in Martin Klett’s artistic oeuvre.
2008 was an important year for Martin Klett, when he won both the Johannes Brahms International Competition as a soloist and the German Music Competition as a duo partner. Since then he has made a name for himself as a concert pianist at international festivals in Europe and beyond. He plays regularly with ARD and ECHO award winners, concert masters from renowned orchestras and university professors.
The 32-year-old Hamburg native hails from musical family that supported his curiosity for various forms of expression in young years – for composing and arranging in addition to piano.
He was able to further develop his artistic personality with his long-time mentor Prof. Konrad Elser at the Lübeck Conservatory of Music and later at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He now teaches at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Conservatory in Leipzig and at the Detmold Conservatory of Music.
His passion for tango dancing has given Martin Klett deep insight into the music of this intangible world cultural heritage. He often incorporates tango music into his concert programmes today.

With his Cuarteto SolTango, founded in 2008, he brings fresh new impulses to chamber music platforms and radio channels.
For his Rachmaninoff album the press appricated the cultivated playing with temperament (Crescendo) and his supple technique, with his SolTango albums his emphassis, freedom and precision. In the field of chamber music Martin will concentrate on the 200th anniverary of César Franck’s birtday together with the Armida Quartet and increases empahsis on his solo career.


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Armida Quartett

Armida Quartet is at the top of its game. The Strad, May 2022. Winning the ARD International Competition in 2012 (also sweeping all other prizes including the audience prize) propelled the Armida Quartet on to the international concert platform. After concerts and radio recordings as BBC New Generation Artists (2014-16) and subsequently as ECHO Rising Stars (2016/17), the musicians have established themselves as regular guests in the best-known chamber music halls in Europe, Asia, and the USA. In addition to regular appearances at European festivals such as the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Rheingau Musik Festival, the quartet has enjoyed great success at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonie, and London‘s Wigmore Hall, among others. Highlights of the 2022/23 season include appearances at Beethovenfest Bonn, Schubertiade Hohenems, Heidelberg String Quartet Festival...
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Armida Quartet is at the top of its game. The Strad, May 2022.
Winning the ARD International Competition in 2012 (also sweeping all other prizes including the audience prize) propelled the Armida Quartet on to the international concert platform. After concerts and radio recordings as BBC New Generation Artists (2014-16) and subsequently as ECHO Rising Stars (2016/17), the musicians have established themselves as regular guests in the best-known chamber music halls in Europe, Asia, and the USA.
In addition to regular appearances at European festivals such as the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Rheingau Musik Festival, the quartet has enjoyed great success at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonie, and London‘s Wigmore Hall, among others. Highlights of the 2022/23 season include appearances at Beethovenfest Bonn, Schubertiade Hohenems, Heidelberg String Quartet Festival and in Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.
Acclaimed for their musical unity, which is evident in their fine-tuned sound and timing as well as their shared breaths, the musicians also emphasise their commitment to quartet playing with their choice of ensemble name: Armida refers to an opera by the composer Joseph Haydn, who is consi- dered the “father of the string quartet“. They studied with former members of the Artemis Quartet and with Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet); they owe further important impulses to Reinhard Goebel, Alfred Brendel, Marek Janowski, and Tabea Zimmermann.
The Armida Quartet places a special focus on the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The third album of the complete recordings of his string quartets for CAvi-music was described as ground- breaking for Mozart interpretation in the 21st century (Klassik Heute). Fono Forum recently praised the fine nuances in sound, dynamics and articulation, saying the recording (Vol. IV) set new stan- dards (March 2022).
The ensemble pursues its passion for Mozart, among other things, in its own concert series “Mozart Exploded“, in which each of the composer‘s string quartets are combined with masterpieces of contemporary music and occasionally presented in experimental concert for- mats in Berlin. The series has already been enthusiastically received in New York as well.
In addition, the young musicians have cooperated with G. Henle Verlag, for whom they act as musical advisors for the new Urtext edition of the Mozart quartets, including their own fingerings and bowings made available for the associated Henle Library App. In doing so, the quartet is not only at the forefront of the latest technological developments, but also advocates for closer collaboration between perfor- ming artists and musicologists.

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Composer(s)

César Franck

César Franck was simultaneously a child prodigy and a late bloomer. His parents quickly discovered his enormous talent, but they were mostly interested in the money and fame that he might generate. Because of this, he was presented as a piano virtuoso, without a focus on composition. Unfortunately, his virtuoso career was less promising then they had hoped, and he started earning his money more as a teacher and organist. Composing stayed in the background, but in the mean time he did get some notable students, such as Henri Duparc. After a while, a sort of 'Franck school' of students arose, albeit against his will, who affectionately called him ‘Pater seraphicus’. It was not until he was 50 before he started...
more
César Franck was simultaneously a child prodigy and a late bloomer. His parents quickly discovered his enormous talent, but they were mostly interested in the money and fame that he might generate. Because of this, he was presented as a piano virtuoso, without a focus on composition. Unfortunately, his virtuoso career was less promising then they had hoped, and he started earning his money more as a teacher and organist. Composing stayed in the background, but in the mean time he did get some notable students, such as Henri Duparc. After a while, a sort of "Franck school" of students arose, albeit against his will, who affectionately called him ‘Pater seraphicus’. It was not until he was 50 before he started to receive some acclaim as a composer, and from his 52nd he started a very prolific period, lasting until his death at the age of 68.
Nowadays, Franck is mostly known for his instrumental music, peaking at the famous Violin Sonata in A. Besides this work,, his small collection of organ works was particularly influential.
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Press

Pianissisimi rarely sound so beautiful.
De Standaard, 21-6-2023

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