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DUO: Martinu, Poulenc, Hindemith - Works for Cello and Piano | Cobra COBRA0090

DUO: Martinu, Poulenc, Hindemith - Works for Cello and Piano

£12.83

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Label: Cobra

Cat No: COBRA0090

Barcode: 8713897905083

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 17th November 2023

Contents

About

On her second COBRA album Nuala McKenna has once again made a selection of particularly beautiful 20th-century pieces which also show her exceptional talent as a cellist. She is here to be heard in a duo together with Robert Kulek. All three composers wrote the works brought on this album DUO in disturbing and turbulent times; during a world war.

Bohuslav Martinů's Cello Sonata no.1, premiered in 1940, is an exciting, dramatic work and the melodies with a Czech character convey his nostalgia for his homeland. Martinů was persecuted by the Nazi regime because of his ties to the Czech resistance movement and thus he fled to the United States with his family in 1940. He called the premiere of his First Cello Sonata the 'last greeting from a better world'.

Francis Poulenc's safety was endangered during the Nazi regime due to his homosexuality and his ties to the resistance movement 'Front National des Musiciens' which had close connections to persecuted musicians such as Milhaud and Hindemith. Poulenc composed his Sonata for cello and piano in 1940 shortly after being discharged from military service following France's capitulation to Germany. It took another eight years for the composition to be completed so that it could be finally premiered in 1949. The Sonata was received with little enthusiasm. Some critics rated it as 'pleasant but nothing more...'.

Paul Hindemith's early works 3 Pieces for cello and piano, op.8, was composed in 1917, the third year of World War I, shortly before being drafted into military service. Between 1913 and 1920, disturbing times and his circle of young conservatory friends inspired Hindemith to write a total of seven so-called 'dramatic masterpieces' - whimsical, almost surrealistic pieces whose subjects usually have an autobiographical background. Later he dismissed his works from this creative period as 'unbearable', but towards the end of his life he saw these works in a different perspective and attempted to publish them.

Since 2018, the German-Irish cellist Nuala McKenna holds the position of solo cellist in the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen conducted by Paavo Järvi. She has performed concerts with renowned artists such as Maria João Pires, the Talich Quartet, Boris Garlitsky, Augustin Dumay, Olli Mustonen and Jean-Guihen Queyras and has performed as a soloist with among others the Göttinger Sinfonieorchester, Theater Erfurt, Kammerorchester Kiel. She is artistic leader of her own festival 'Musikfest Kahleby' which was founded in summer 2016. Nuala McKenna has been awarded a Diapason d'Or, the most prestigious of French music magazine award as well as the 'Clef d'Or Resmusica' award for her debut COBRA album SOLO, released in March 2021.

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