Carolin Widmann – L’Aurore (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:09:47 minutes | 1,30 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ECM New Series
“L’Aurore” is Carolin Widmann’s seventh recording for the New Series and her first solo violin recording for the label, exploring a characteristically wide arc of composition with élan and imagination. In this fascinating recital, Widmann sets out to document the expressive potential of the violin in a programme that concludes with a radiant account of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita in D minor.At the album’s core, there are some major discoveries to be made, not least in Romanian composer George Enescu’s rarely-played Fantaisie concertante, written in 1932. : “How is one able to notate something that sounds so free, so visionary?” Widmann reflects in an interview with Max Nyffeler in the booklet. “The melody unfolds improvisationally, as it were: the piece feels like a sweeping melisma”. Throughout the unbroken fifteen-minute duration of the Fantaisie concertante, tension and intensity are maintained.
Enescu, like Bartók before him, drew inspiration from the folk music heritage of his homeland, bringing its colours and energies into his multi-layered music. Widmann also perceives and underlines a cross-connection between Enescu and Belgian composer Eugène Ysaÿe, whose Sonata No. 5, written in 1923, embraces a swirling “Danse rustique” in its second movement.
Bridging the demanding Enescu and Ysaÿe pieces are the aphoristic Three Miniatures of British composer George Benjamin: “There is not a note too much. His music is like a fabric very finely woven, and the three pieces are also interwoven in a subtle way”. These brief character sketches were written in 2001 and 2002 and respectively dedicated to violinist Jagdish Mistry, to music publisher Sally Cavender, and to new music patron Klaus Lauer, at whose Badenweiller Music Days the cycle was premiered.
“L’Aurore” also includes two passes at Hildegard von Bingen’s 12th century antiphon Spiritus sanctus vivificans vita, with Widmann translating Gregorian chant into the idiom of the violin, while keeping the idea of the breath in focus. “We come from the voice. That is the origin of our musical tradition. During the recording we discovered that I play the antiphon differently each time. That’s why it appears twice, like a kind of ritual”.
The album concludes with Bach’s Partita in D minor. “Bach is the one who holds everything together. It was a great concern of mine to finally record this Partita. I waited and waited with it, and worked on it for years. Now I felt the time is ripe and I have enough experience with the piece. Maybe in five years I’ll play it differently again, but in its present form it’s a mirror of my current life and artistic experiences…”
1-1. Carolin Widmann – Hildegard von Bingen: Spiritus sanctus vivificans vita (Version I) (02:49)
1-2. Carolin Widmann – Enescu: Fantaisie concertante (14:18)
1-3. Carolin Widmann – I. A Lullaby for Lalit (02:28)
1-4. Carolin Widmann – II. A Canon for Sally (02:39)
1-5. Carolin Widmann – III. Lauer Lied (02:35)
1-6. Carolin Widmann – I. L’Aurore (05:13)
1-7. Carolin Widmann – II. Danse rustique (05:35)
1-8. Carolin Widmann – Hildegard von Bingen: Spiritus sanctus vivificans vita (Version II) (02:39)
1-9. Carolin Widmann – I. Allemanda (05:11)
1-10. Carolin Widmann – II. Corrente (02:56)
1-11. Carolin Widmann – III. Sarabanda (04:08)
1-12. Carolin Widmann – IV. Giga (04:27)
1-13. Carolin Widmann – V. Ciaccona (14:43)