Marc Sinan’s third ECM release is an evocative duo album with Oğuz Büyükberber which subtly covers a lot of ground. The guitarist and the clarinettist have worked together in many contexts since first meeting in Istanbul a decade ago, and Büyükberber previously appeared on Hasretim: Journey to Anatolia, released in 2013, as well as in Sinan’s music-theatre piece Komitas. The individual musical directions of the two players have effectively converged from opposite poles: Marc was trained as a classical guitarist in the western European tradition, but has increasingly been drawn to improvisation and Turkish material, while Oğuz started out with Turkish music and jazz before exploring free improvisation and contemporary composition. For White, both musicians provide new music.
The ‘warm voice’ of the viola has long been associated with pioneering British performers such as Lionel Tertis, for whom Vaughan Williams wrote his tuneful and elegantly crafted ‘Suite.’ Tertis famously rejected the score of Walton’s ‘Viola Concerto,’ but instantly regretted his decision on hearing its lyrical warmth and piquant blend of delicacy and bite at the premiere performed by Paul Hindemith. Howells’s somber but noble ‘Elegy’ is a memorial for a student colleague killed in action during World War I. Hailed as “one of the world’s greatest violists” (American Record Guide), Helen Callus continues to captivate audiences with her lyrical tone, technical command, and profound artistry. She is a sought-after recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloists. She has performed with such world-class ensembles as the Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and delighted audiences across the world. She is an award-winning recording artist and her seven releases have been met with the highest critical acclaim.
Marc Minkowski was one of the most promising conductors to emerge in the 1990s, having carved out a niche for himself (and his hand-picked ensemble, Les Musiciens du Louvre) in the lesser-known works of the French and Italian Baroque. In the competitive fields of early music and historical performance, he has garnered considerable critical acclaim and managed to bring works of relative obscurity to the attention of wider audiences.