Author Topic: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.  (Read 732 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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This is a big area, there’s a lot of it, and much of it is good, so I thought I’d start a thread, if only to collect it all together.

I’ll kick it off with something I’ve been listening to this morning, a lyrical, gruff assemblage of cello pieces by Ralph Shapey called Krosnick Soli, played on this CD by Scott Kluksdahl. Written in 1983.  I think it uses some sort of scordatura, and the result is a really striking contrast between the lower registers and the higher ones, as if the lower string is an intruder in the party. Each of the Krosnick soli has a distinctive emotional flavour, but the piece manages to work as a whole, unified in some way by its harmonies I guess.

It’s been a while since I listened to Shapey and in truth I’d forgotten what an interesting, spiritual, composer he is. There’s a lot of his music on record now  - quartets, piano etc.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 10:09:01 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 08:15:10 AM »
Lachenmann’s Toccatina for solo violin  uses extreme instrumental techniques - for example, you pluck the strings with the metal nut at the end of the bow, the thing normally used to tighten the horse hair. It makes a lovely sound.


How can a plink and a pizzz be turned into music? Are these random sounds or is there some sort of plan? You never know with this sort of thing whether the interest is from the novelty or the poetry.  I think the latter - I think this is gentle, refined music. Full of air, ethereal. This is what angels sound like.

But I’m not sure.

There are lots of recordings,  the one in the pic was chosen pretty well at random.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 08:18:12 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 07:36:40 AM »


Luciano Berio wrote Sequenza Vi for Walter Trampler in 1967, who recorded it above. The composer described it as follows

Quote
Sequenza VI for viola, written for a modern soloist in the widest and most responsible sense of the term, is a piece of great virtuosity (a very indirect homage to Paganini’s Capricci) where the same basic harmonic sequence is continuously repeated, developed and transformed. It is a formal study on repetition, on the relationship between often repeated modules and modules appearing only once.

Listening to it today I was struck that much the same could be said of Franco Donatoni's Ciglio (1989) for violin, which as far as I know has never been commercially recorded (if someone has a recording, please say) Fortunately there is this youtube from a concert by Lorenzo Gorli

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/09OEVj0s6qM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/09OEVj0s6qM</a>

There's more to the Donatoni than repetition. With Donatoni you are swept along a road and suddenly, you've had enough, it becomes boring and there's a transition -- those transitions are what make the thing special of course. And this is very much what Bernhard Lang is interested in, in the series of pieces called Monadologie. There are none that I've heard for solo string instrument, but here's one for flute (2012)


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/JcMdChOES5c" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/JcMdChOES5c</a>

 

« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 08:51:29 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 10:36:08 PM »
Very valuable study of Boulez’s Anthèmes 1 here

https://fdocuments.in/document/goldman-understanding-pierre-boulez-anthemes.html

And I take the opportunity to mention this Irvine Arditti 2017 release, which I’ve only just discovered, and it is exceptional.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2020, 03:43:28 AM »
     


I'm going to make a single note about two pieces, Isan Yun's Glissées (1970)  for solo cello and Richard Barrett's Ne songe plus a fuire (1985) for amplified cello, not because of a shared style or sonority (but they do both have a sense of exploring the sound possibilities of the instrument quite fully, but they're not the same instrument), but more because of the extreme darkness of the mood they elicit in me.  This expressiveness was certainly part of Barrett's design, he was inspired by Roberto Matta's sequences of canvases with the same name, an example of one will give you the flavour





The Barrett seems to me to be a major masterpiece.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/8FZYEYnQtgM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/8FZYEYnQtgM</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/qDch-EqkOJw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/qDch-EqkOJw</a>
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 03:45:17 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2020, 01:53:20 AM »
I’ve had a real soft spot for Klaus Huber for years now, ever since I found some comments of Ferneyhough praising his music to the skies. What a pleasure to discover his piece for solo . . . called Ein Hauch von Unzeit, which he’s describes as “ A Lament on the Loss of Musical Thought – some Madrigals for Solo Flute or Flute with any other Instruments”.  It is in some sense aleatoric, and it has been recorded many times, on many instruments. The one which is really haunting me is on this CD by Bjorn Ianke for solo double bass



It is a exercise in disintegration, the double bass, deep and quiet, brings out the quality of lamento. A masterful performance of a masterpiece.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 05:33:53 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2020, 11:35:58 PM »


Gnarly, twisted, dark: this fury is inside. Anger which doesn’t show up in brutal action but in brooding horror.


Very good. Play it once and if you’re like me you’ll want to hear it again straight away.


Rebecca Saunders has also written a double bass concert of the same name, or rather Fury II,  which I missed in London last year.

Here on yourtube, a different performance

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/T46RjS20-cg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/T46RjS20-cg</a>
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 11:53:41 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline some guy

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2020, 06:26:38 PM »
Very nice list so far. I'll be returning to it now and again.

You know that Dumitrescu and Avram have many solo pieces, especially for cello and for double bass.

Those are outrageously gorgeous and fun.

And you know the Hespos album of solo works? I've not listened to it, much, but it's there. And I can listen to it any time I want. :-)

Anyway, thanks for this. I hope others will join it. Perhaps a wind and a brass thread could be done along the same lines.

Offline T. D.

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2020, 06:47:13 PM »
   



Thanks for reminding me of this. I like both Palm and B A Zimmermann, have another recording of Intercomunicazione.

For solo cello:

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 12:05:26 AM »

For solo cello:


Have you had the chance to hear Arne Deforce play the trilogia?

« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 12:07:10 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2020, 07:05:48 AM »
Have you had the chance to hear Arne Deforce play the trilogia?



No I haven't, thanks for the suggestion! I've only heard Uitti and vaguely felt there was more to the music than her performance brought out.

Offline André Le Nôtre

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2020, 07:52:06 PM »
An interesting thread. Not sure exactly what time period you are looking at here. However, I think a monumental piece in the genre is the Sonata for Unaccompanied cello Op. 8 by Zoltan Kodaly. The recording by Janos Starker on Period LP (original issue, early 50s) is one of the very greatest recordings ever made-technically, musically, and sonically. In terms of sound quality, I would put this up against anything. I play this for people on my system and their jaws drop to the floor. One of my favorite LPs.

Also belonging to this genre are the incredible pieces for solo violin by Karl Nielsen: Prelude and Theme with Variations, and Preludio e Presto.

Ersnt Reijseger also has composed some interesting pieces (soundtrack to Cave of Forgotten Dreams).

I love the organ accompaniment here (to five-string cello). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIMvM8u9C-o

« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 07:59:55 PM by André Le Nôtre »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2020, 09:17:01 AM »


I just note that this is an exceptionally interesting release of double bass pieces, played by Michael Francis Duch,  widely available on streaming at least in sub-CD quality. Lene Grenager a collaborator in Spunk of the great Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje.  In Flac here

https://www.prostudiomasters.com/album/page/26095

There are two solo works for bass: Rondo for Michael and Practice -violence, for bass with voice accompaniment in English -- very amusing voice accompaniment too.  In addition the recording includes the quartet Moving the stones where he quadrupels himself with two times bass, radio and voice. Moving the stones is presumably a reference to Christian Wolff's Stones.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 09:27:41 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Avant Garde Music for Solo Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2020, 05:21:11 PM »
Perhaps "improv" rather than "classical", and I'm sometimes sceptical about Beckett inspiration, but I just enjoyed all 14-odd minutes of this (solo bass) on Bandcamp:


This earlier release, which I haven't heard but am considering, includes a shorter rendition of the 5 Fizzles:
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 06:00:48 PM by T. D. »