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Thomas Zehetmair, violin; Ruth Killius, viola: Manto & Madrigals

Album Summary

>Killius, Rainer : O min flaskan frida, for violin & viola
>Scelsi, Giacinto : Manto I, II, III, for viola & female voice
>Holliger, Heinz : Three Sketches for violin & viola
>Bartók, Béla : Duo (Canon) for 2 violins, DD 69, BB 26a
>Skalkottas, Nikos : Duo for violin & viola
>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Midhouse Air, for violin & viola, Op. 180a
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Madrigals (3) for Violin and Viola
>Nied, Johannes : Zugabe, for violin & viola
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

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, Martinu, 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 - and they perform music from Manto and Madrigal in London in early April. 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 Martinu, and an encore provided by the performers' friend Johannes Nied.

Thomas Zehetmair, virtuoso violinist, conductor, and musical director of the Northen Sinfonia, has recorded Holliger's Violin Concerto for ECM and his solo discs of Ysaÿe and Paginini won great critical acclaim. He and Ruth Killius co-founded the Zehetmair Quartet in 1994. Their Schumann Quartets album was Gramophone's Record of the Year in 2003 and the recent disc of Hindemith and Bartók was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'Année.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Radio Studio DRS, Zürich (05/2009).



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Works Details

>Killius, Rainer : O min flaskan frida, for violin & viola
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.

>Scelsi, Giacinto : Manto I, II, III, for viola & female voice
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967

>Holliger, Heinz : Three Sketches for violin & viola
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Bartók, Béla : Duo (Canon) for 2 violins, DD 69, BB 26a
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1902

>Skalkottas, Nikos : Duo for violin & viola
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Midhouse Air, for violin & viola, Op. 180a
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1996

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Madrigals (3) for Violin and Viola
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Notes: Composition written: 02/17/1947-03/19/1947.
  • Running Time: 13 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral

>Nied, Johannes : Zugabe, for violin & viola
  • Performers: Ruth Killius (Viola); Thomas Zehetmair (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 15 sec.
  • Written: 2004