Classical and Modern Music

DUO CLARIPIANO

DUO CLARIPIANO: V OBJEMU DVOJINE (2017)

Format: CD

Šifra: 114755
EAN: 3838898114755

DUO CLARIPIANO: V OBJEMU DVOJINE DUO CLARIPIANO: V OBJEMU DVOJINE

The album V objemu dvojine (“Dual Embrace”) offers a collection of eight new pieces for clarinet and piano inspired by Slovenian folk traditions. The two authors of the concept and of the project that led to this album are pianist Tatjana Kaučič and clarinetist Dušan Sodja, two academically-trained musicians who comprise Duo Claripiano. They refined the concept over many years, motivated into action by the gaping rift separating folk and art music in the chamber music literature. According to the artists themselves, the concept felt especially pertinent when performing on foreign stages.
After more than 20 years of committed performances, Tatjana and Dušan decided to encourage the creation of new pieces themselves, inviting composers from across Slovenia to take part in the project. Eight composers from different generations stepped forward to contribute compositional treatments of Slovenian folk motives, dedicating them to Duo Claripiano.

 

Transparent, sincere simplicity from which a powerful love can evolve that is literally written for the souls of these performers while telling a complete musical story: this is the lyrical three-movement work by the composer of the younger generation Andrej Makor (born 1987) entitled Histria et amor. It flows unencumbered, purely, naturally, like clear water, while it plays with clearly recognizable melodies from Istrian love songs including “Vilota”, “Dajte, dajte” (“Give, give”) and “Ena puncá ven iz mesta gre” (“A girl is leaving town”) which the composer characterfully reshapes with syncopated rhythms, perhaps updating them and certainly drawing closer to the tastes of modern listeners.
The ideas of Tomaž Habe (born 1947) are powerfully stated. In his programmatic rhapsody for clarinet and piano a series of vignettes unfold: a rural idyll, youthful memories of the past, key moments of one’s life from childhood to maturity. The compositional procedures seem well-chosen as they knit together tiny motives of well-known folk songs into the fabric of the entire piece, praising the nostalgic power of the green landscape. Inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca’s Verde que te quiero verde, Habe titled his score Zeleno, ki te ljubim zeleno (“Green, how I want you green”), expressing a mysterious extramusical world of extremities, of thresholds first discovered by childhood curiosity and play, then by adolescent passions and later by mature responsibility, and finally by resigned nostalgia as one looks back to the world of “those paths that once were” [a reference to another well-known Slovenian folksong, “Čej so tiste stezice” or “Where are those paths?”].
Venec treh dolin (“A Garland of Three Valleys”) by the young composer Katarina Pustinek Rakar (born 1979) gestures towards Koroška (Carinthia). The score, which is in ternary form, was inspired by the thematic and distinctive contrasting melodies from three historically Slovenian valleys in southern Carinthia, Austria: the Rož (Rosental), Podjuna (Jauntal) and Zila (Gailtal) valleys. The entire piece evolves as a paraphrase emphasising the aesthetics of simple harmonizations and the well-attuned, almost spontaneous mutual understanding of the performers. The musical motives are derived from three folksong melodies, of which the first verses are “Rož, Podjuna, Zila”, “Tam, kjer teče bistra Zila” (“There, where the clear Zila runs”) and “Pr' Zili rož'ce rastejo” (“Flowers are growing in Zila”).
Composer Jani Golob (born 1948) was inspired by the Prekmurian saga. The slow current of the Mura river, the plains, the proverbial melancholy and the culturally mixed region crowned with the clatter of stork beaks, all create an atmosphere that is expressed in the three-movement piece with the simple title: Three folk songs from Prekmurje for clarinet and piano. The melodies become artfully developed themes that stand out from the compositional structure, skillfully painting an impressionistic picture of the region like the Prekmurian düša, ki premišlava [“spirit that ponders”] or an archeological memory of ancient Prekmurian culture.
A folk song from the Posočje region – more specifically, a love song from the villages around Zatolmin with the opening verse “Oj, deklica, povej mi to” (“Hey, maiden, do tell me”) – was the inspiration for composer Peter Šavli (born 1961). As his piece lifts itself out of clearly expressed melodies from songs to which the composer has even added a text, it seems that he remains faithful to weaving them together with absolute musical skill.
From evening, when the clouds are red, to the early morning when the rooster crows … love inflamed the heart … Tadeja Vulc (born 1978), also compelled to explore the legacy of songs about love, found inspiration in the lyrical songs “Ko oblaki so rudeči” (“The clouds are red”) and “Petelinček je zapieu” (“The little rooster crowed”). Her piece is fresh, playful, witty and modern – as a quick glance of the score already reveals. It explores the numerous sound possibilities of both instruments, moving away from a romantic and nostalgic understanding of folk tradition towards the expression of simple, youthful, unburdened, not just beautiful but certainly less emotional elements.
Marija in brodnik (“Maria and the Ferryman”), with the opening line Marija z Ogrskega gre (“Maria on her way from Hungary”), is one of the most legendary folk songs throughout Slovenia. It served as inspiration for composer Andrej Misson (born 1960) who found an original, picturesque way to wordlessly express the text.
The last piece leads the listener to experience an old Bela Krajina custom. Rituals marked by the blending of Balkan cultures are part of the local customs in the region even today. Women clad in white, known as kresnice, walk from house to house singing a long midsummer song – which according to superstition must not be interrupted – to invoke a good harvest. Kresna (“Midsummer’s day”) by Helena Vidic (born 1987) is a rhapsodic piece featuring fragments of folksongs from the rich heritage of the culturally diverse Bela krajina region. It includes the folksongs “Kresna pesem” (“Midsummer’s Song”), “Spazila sem Janka” (“I saw Janko”), “Tribučko kolo” and “U toj črni gori” (“In that black mountain”).
All the pieces on the present album receive distinctive performances, from deep within the score and out to the listeners via the expression of a truly sensitive experience of the material and made possible by the unconditional commitment of Tatjana and Dušan. It is an excellent mix of tone colors and an intimate interweaving of individual phrases in which the technical difficulty is obscured by the unbounded confidence of two artists, guiding the listener into an open and timeless place, perhaps a truly Slovenian statement.
The album Dual Embrace came about in collaboration with Slovenian Radio 1 as part of a broader comprehensive project with Duo Claripiano. It brings to the world of chamber music fresh, contemporary and at the same time diversified literature featuring motivic fragments cut from the Slovenian national fabric. It is a complete artistic statement offering the sincere simplicity of folk motives, raising them to a high artistic level and remaining in the aesthetic space of an educated musical taste.

Simona Moličnik

 

 

Clarinetist Dušan Sodja and pianist Tatjana Kaučič gave their first concert together as Duo Claripiano in 1994. Since then, love has united them not only in music but also in life. They were accompanied on their path by many excellent chamber music mentors: bassoonist Božidar Tumpej, composer Ivo Petrić and pianist Anthony Spiri, with whom they furthered their studies in 2005-2006 in the postgraduate chamber music class at the Cologne University of Music. Both musicians are graduates of the Ljubljana Academy of Music and earned their masters degrees at the Salzburg Mozarteum. The professional journey has taken them to many locations including Los Angeles, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Prague, Ljubljana, Belgrade and Yerevan. Among their most important guest appearances are those at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, the Ljubljana Festival, the Carinthischer Sommer Festival, the Academy of Chamber Music in Montepulciano and the International Music Festival in Yerevan. Both musicians are employed in the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Friendships with Slovenian composers have led to the creation of numerous pieces for clarinet and piano, including works by Ivo Petrić, Primož Ramovš, Janez Matičič, Lojze Lebič, Ljubo Rančigaj, Peter Kopač, Nenad Firšt, Peter Šavli, Slavko Šuklar, Črt Sojar Voglar and Blaž Pucihar. Their first album Legends featuring classic works from the 20th century was praised in the BBC Music Magazine. In 2004 they released the self-published CD Encounters featuring music dedicated to the duo by Slovenian composers. Their album Romantic Claripiano presenting sonatas by romantic composers (Camille Saint-Saëns, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms) was released in 2012 by the Slovenian Philharmonic’s own recording label and received an excellent review in the American magazine The Clarinet. For their 20th anniversary, their album 20 Claripiano was released by ZKP RTV Slovenia in September 2014 and features a selection of works from Slovenian and foreign composers including Gerald Finzi, Marijan Lipovšek, Ljubo Rančigaj, Krzysztof Penderecki, Claude Debussy, Janez Matičič, Lojze Lebič and Witold Lutosławski.
A love for 19th century romanticism led them to collaborate with the Mendelssohn house and the Edvard Grieg Association in Leipzig, where they made a guest appearance in March 2011. Slovenian composers have called Tatjana and Dušan “ambassadors of Slovenian music” as they include a contemporary Slovenian work on every program and have commissioned new works for clarinet and piano. The duo presented works by Slovenian composers Lojze Lebič, Janez Matačič, Blaž Pucihar and Uroš Krek at the ClarinetFest World Clarinet Meeting in Los Angeles in 2011 and in Assisi in 2013. In the summer of 2015 they gave a well-received recital at ClarinetFest in Madrid and in autumn 2016 they performed in Mainz at the invitation of the German Clarinet Association. They presented their latest project Slovenian folk music in concert arrangements for Duo Claripiano at ClarinetFest in Orlando, Florida, in summer 2017.

 

TRACKS:           

Andrej Makor:             
Histria et amor
1  I         3:11 (
listen!)
2  II         2:36
3  III        2:36

4 Tomaž Habe:    
Zeleno, ki te ljubim zeleno / Green, how I want you green   9:36

5  Katarina Pustinek Rakar:                                      
Venec treh dolin / A Garland of Three Valleys 5:18

Jani Golob:                        
Tri prekmurske ljudske pesmi / Three Folk Songs from Prekmurje
6  Poj mi, poj mi droubna ftica / Sing, do sing to me, little bird 4:18
7  Ne ouri ne sejaj / Don’t plough, don’t sow 3:34
8   Gnes je en leipi den / Today is a lovely day 3:15

9  Peter Šavli:             
Oj, deklica, povej mi to / Hey, maiden, do tell me  8:15

10 Tadeja Vulc:              
Oblaki so rudeči & Petelinček je zapieu / The clouds are red & The little rooster crowed 7:24

11 Andrej Misson:                  
Marija in Brodnik (Marija z Ogrskega gre) / Maria and the Ferryman (Maria on her way from Hungary) 7:56

12 Helena Vidic: Kresna / Midsummer Day’s  9:16


Duo Claripiano
Dušan Sodja, clarinet
Tatjana Kaučič, piano

Price: 11,07 EUR

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