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Ursula Mamlok (b.1923), Vol. 5 - Music for solo piano, chamber works / Heinz Holliger, oboe; Holger Groschopp, piano; Kolja Lessing, violin; Hanna Weinmeister, violin; Daniel Haefliger, cello et al.

Album Summary

>Mamlok, Ursula : Piano Sonata
>Mamlok, Ursula : The Birds Dream, for piano
>Mamlok, Ursula : Molto vivo, for piano
>Mamlok, Ursula : Allegro, for violin & Piano
>Mamlok, Ursula : Sonata for violin & piano
>Mamlok, Ursula : Sextet for winds, strings & piano
>Mamlok, Ursula : Rückblick
>Mamlok, Ursula : Phantasiestücke (5), for oboe, violin, viola & cello
>Mamlok, Ursula : Above Clouds, for viola & piano
>Mamlok, Ursula : Breezes, for clarinet, violin, viola, cello & piano
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

At the age of 92, Ursula Mamlok, who spent many decades living in New York, has returned to her native Germany, where she has been heralded as master composer. German musicians and concert organizations have taken up her scores, performing numerous concerts and making recordings of compositions from throughout her long career. Bridge Records has been honored to issue dozens of Mamlok's compositions, with the present Volume 5 being, perhaps, the most far reaching to date, containing nine compositions spanning the years 1942-2015. Mamlok's superbly crafted music is economical, dramatic and highly expressive, with unexpected change being the norm.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany (04/2014); Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany (04/2014); Studio Britz, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Berlin (Germany) (04/2014); Zürich, Radio DRS, Studio 1 (04/2014); Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany (04/2015); Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany (04/2015); Studio Britz, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Berlin (Germany) (04/2015); Zürich, Radio DRS, Studio 1 (04/2015); Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany (05/2014); Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany (05/2014); Studio Britz, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Berlin (Germany) (05/2014); Zürich, Radio DRS, Studio 1 (05/2014); Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany (06/2015); Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany (06/2015); Studio Britz, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Berlin (Germany) (06/2015); Zürich, Radio DRS, Studio 1 (06/2015); Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany (09/2014); Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany (09/2014); Studio Britz, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Berlin (Germany) (09/2014); Zürich, Radio DRS, Studio 1 (09/2014).



Reviews

Features early and late works
Volume five of Bridge Record's Ursula Mamlok survey is a study in contrasts. Mamlok moved from a neo-classical style at the start of her career in the 1940s to a highly personal version of atonality by the time of her death in 2016. This release presents some of Mamlok's earliest compositions, as well as some of her latest. Stylistically, there's a significant change, but not aesthetically. Throughout the music on this release, there's a certain consistency of organization.

As Mamlok wrote: "music should convey the various emotions in it with clarity and conviction. It interests me to accomplish this with a minimum of material, transforming it in such multiple ways so as to give the impression of ever-new ideas that are like the flowers of a plant, all related yet each one different."

The first four works on the disc were written in the 1940s and are perhaps the most accessible compositions in the program. The 1942 piano sonata is a charming post-romantic work that reminds me of a chromatic Gerald Finzi. The 1943 Allegro for Violin and Piano plays with the concept of tonality by refusing to alight on a particular key center for any length of time yet still sounding tonal. The Birds Dream (1944) and the Molto vivo (1947) are similarly constructed. All of these works are quite short, reflecting Mamlok's desire to use the minimal material.

To my ears, the 1977 Sextet sounds a little dated. It's a work from the mid-point of Mamlok's career and shows her interest in atonality. But the atonal organization seems a little too much in the forefront. While Mamlok continually transforms her material, it seems more intellectual than emotional expression -- especially compared to the 1940s works that precede it.

Most interesting to me are the late works: the Five Fantasy Pieces for oboe and string trio, Above Clouds for viola and piano, and Breezes for clarinet and piano quartet. In these pieces, composed between 2013 and 2015, Mamlok seems to have completely internalized her atonal aesthetic. Even though there are sudden register leaps and dramatic dynamic contrasts, the music seems to flow naturally from one event to the next.

The works were recorded with a variety of artists in several different venues. Yet there's a consistent overall sound to the release. Another excellent installment in this series.
Submitted on 09/13/16 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Mamlok, Ursula : Piano Sonata
  • Performer: Holger Groschopp (Piano)
  • Conductor: Anthony Korf
  • Ensemble: Parnassus
  • Running Time: 9 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942

>Mamlok, Ursula : The Birds Dream, for piano
  • Performer: Holger Groschopp (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Spectrum Concerts Berlin
  • Running Time: 4 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Mamlok, Ursula : Molto vivo, for piano
  • Performer: Holger Groschopp (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Mamlok, Ursula : Allegro, for violin & Piano
  • Performers: Holger Groschopp (Piano); Kolja Lessing (Violin)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943

>Mamlok, Ursula : Sonata for violin & piano
  • Performers: Holger Groschopp (Piano); Kolja Lessing (Violin)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1989

>Mamlok, Ursula : Sextet for winds, strings & piano
  • Conductor: Anthony Korf
  • Ensemble: Parnassus (New York)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1977

>Mamlok, Ursula : Rückblick :: In memory of the "Reichspogromnacht" on 9th of November, 1938, for alto saxophone & pian
  • Performers: Tatjana Blome (Piano); Frank Lunte (Alto Saxophone)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2002

>Mamlok, Ursula : Phantasiestücke (5), for oboe, violin, viola & cello
  • Performers: Jurg Dahler (Viola); Daniel Haefliger (Cello); Heinz Holliger (Oboe); Hanna Weinmeister (Violin)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2012

>Mamlok, Ursula : Above Clouds, for viola & piano
  • Performers: Holger Groschopp (Piano); Hartmut Rohde (Viola)
  • Ensemble: Spectrum Concerts Berlin
  • Running Time: 8 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2013
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Mamlok, Ursula : Breezes, for clarinet, violin, viola, cello & piano
  • Performers: Jens Maintz (Cello); Naomi Niskala (Piano); Hartmut Rohde (Viola); Alexander Sitkovetsky (Violin); Lars van den Oudenwijer (Clarinet)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2015
  • Studio/Live: Live