Garth Knox – Saltarello (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Garth Knox – Saltarello (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 60:00 minutes | 598 MB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital booklet | © ECM

On this brilliant recording, renowned viola player Garth Knox couples works stretching from the 12th century to present day. The album finds Knox surveying various musical events from the past 1,000 years from the likes of acclaimed composers including Hildegard von Bingen, Vivaldi and Guillaume de Machaut. Knox is joined by frequent collaborators, Agnes Vesterman and Sylvain Lemetre. The gifted musicians create rich dusky tones on this highly invigorating recital.

Saltarello is very much a companion album to Irish violist Garth Knox’s first solo recital for ECM, D’Amore, released in 2008 — a richly diverse collection of works for viola d’amore featuring Contemporary and Baroque repertoire as well as music from folk traditions — periods and styles that are also represented on the new album, as well as Medieval vocal and instrumental pieces. On his first album he was joined by cellist Agnès Vesterman, who returns here, along with percussionist Sylvain Lemêtre. Besides viola d’amore, he plays modern viola and folk fiddle. Knox made the arrangements of the folk material and of the Baroque pieces. For the songs by Purcell and Dowland, one of the folk songs, and the Vivaldi Concerto in D minor, he uses viola d’amore and cello; the instruments sound gorgeous together, and he treats them as equal partners, interweaving the roles of solo and accompaniment. The English lute songs make an especially seamless transition to this instrumentation, and Dowland’s Flow my Tears is wonderfully effective and affecting, a highlight of the album. Kaija Saariaho’s Vent nocturne for viola and electronics, which she wrote for Knox, is a mysterious, subtly shaded evocation of the sounds of the night. Knox’s own Fuga libre for solo viola is a skillful and timbrally colorful virtuoso tour de force. The Medieval dances, arranged for fiddle and percussion, are appropriately rambunctious, and in the other pieces for that combination — folk songs and Hildegard’s hymn, Ave Generosa, paired with Machaut’s chanson Tels rit au matin qui au soir pleure — the percussion is deployed with delicacy and discretion. ECM’s sound is characteristically clear, clean, and immediate.

01 – Black Brittany
02 – Music for a While
03 – Concerto for viola d’amore in d-minor RV 393: I. Allegro
04 – Concerto for viola d’amore in d-minor RV 394: II. Largo
05 – Concerto for viola d’amore in d-minor RV 395: III. Presto
06 – Fuga libre
07 – Ave, generosa – Tels rit au ma(t)in qui au soir pleure
08 – Vent nocturne: I. Sombres miroirs (Dark Mirrors)
09 – Flow my Tears
10 – Vent nocturne: II. Soupirs de l’obscur (Breaths of the Obscure)
11 – Three Dances: Saltarello I – Ghaetta – Saltarello II
12 – Pipe, Harp and Fiddle


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