Manto and Madrigals | ECM New Series 4763827

Manto and Madrigals


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Label: ECM New Series

Cat No: 4763827

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 21st March 2011



In their first recording as a duo, violinist Thomas Zehetmair and violist Ruth Killius take the listener on a stunning tour of modern music, playing works by Bartók, Holliger, Scelsi, Martinů, Skalkottas, Rainer Killius, Johannes Nied and Peter Maxwell Davies. “The instruments dazzle, dance and declaim, play games with one another”, remarks Paul Griffiths in the liner notes.

The husband and wife team who comprise half of the multi-award winning Zehetmair Quartet have been playing this material as part of their recital work for several years already, with great success. These pieces formed the core of their performance at ECM’s 40th anniversary festival in Mannheim – a concert singled out by critics as a highlight of the event.

On this recording, the relationships between the pieces and between the instruments are explored in compositions that range from Scelsi’s dissonant and microtonal journey toward the mystic core of music making, with Killius as singer as well as viola soloist, to duo pieces that incorporate elements, archaic or playful, from regional folk music.

There is very early Bartók here, and music of Schoenberg’s sole Greek pupil Skalkottas. There are three sketches by Heinz Holliger, written especially for Zehetmair and Killius, playful madrigals by Martinů, and an encore provided by the performers’ friend Johannes Nied.

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