Swiss pianist Ingrid Karlen makes her ECM debut with Variations, of which the program is as provocative as the title is vague. Beyond variations in the traditional sense, these are, rather, mise-en-abymes of abstractions. Or so they might at first aural glance seem, for within these sometimes troubling clusters of false starts breathes a unity at once organic and contrived. Anton Webern’s Variations for Piano, op. 27 (1935/36) is the primary example, for the only variations they seem to engender stem from that which cannot be notated. These pieces behave as might a solo violin sonata, jumping fluidly and bow-like through their ephemeral 12-tone links. They are the anti-motif, a stretch of childhood unable to be sifted.
Celebrating the work of Italy's greatest musical dramatist, this set of 12 operas includes definitive performances from some of the finest Verdi singers of our age, in productions which reflect the contemporary richness of our perspective of the composer as both a man of his time, inspired to reflect the familial tensions and revolutionary fervor of his homeland, and also a man of theatrical genius as timeless as his adored Shakespeare, whose anti-heroes Macbeth and Falstaff stand as the poles of tragedy and comedy in this survey of modern stagings.
That kind of music escapes from all traditional criteria pertaining to analysis and interpretation.
Ustvolskaya herself claimed it: "I urge everyone who loves my music not to analyze it theoretically"from the attached booklet
Galina Ustvolskaya, a pupil of Dmitri Shostakovitch, is one of the most remarkable of living composers. A complete recluse whose music ranks with that of Giacinto Scelsi for sheer uncompromising single-mindedness, she was little-known in the West until the last ten years. Her compositions deliberately inhabit extreme worlds; obsessive beating rhythms, pounding clusters, monotonous repetition, bizarre instrumentation and bleak monody all feature heavily in her music. Her minute output is dominated by a sequence of five increasingly bizarre symphonies and one of six piano sonatas; the piano sonatas, all of which appear on this disc, are essential listening for anyone interested in post-Shostakovitch music, and the later ones rank amongst the finest post-war works for piano.
Galina Borisova was born in April 22, 1941, Moscow, Russia The Russian mezzo-soprano (contralto), Honoured artist of the RSFSR, Galina Borisova, studied singing with her mother, the singer Olga Borisova and with Mrs. Petrova at the Conservatoy of Moscow...