Holliger: Lieder ohne Worte; Sequenzen über Johannes I, 32; Präludium, Arioso und Passacaglia; Elis; Trema

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COMPOSERS: Holliger
LABELS: ECM
WORKS: Lieder ohne Worte; Sequenzen über Johannes I, 32; Präludium, Arioso und Passacaglia; Elis; Trema
PERFORMER: Thomas Zehetmair (violin), Thomas Larcher (piano), Ursula Holliger (harp)
CATALOGUE NO: 457 066-2
Heinz Holliger’s stature as a composer tends to be overshadowed by his greatness as an oboist, but he has been one of the more distinctive voices in European music over the last thirty years. As this collection of small-scale instrumental works demonstrates, that voice has changed its tone: if early works like Elis for piano and the harp Sequenzen über Johannes I, 32 reveal the influence of his teacher Boulez, the later pieces show Holliger delving much more deeply into the nature of the instruments as if trying to squeeze out some precious essence. The extended solo violin Trema creates a world of fugitive, nervous imagery, while the wonderfully intense miniatures in two sets of Lieder ohne Worte for violin and piano that frame the disc are laconic and Iyrical, with just a few moments of eruptive passion. Andrew Clements

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