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WWE 1CD 20431
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Trio Catch
Christophe Bertrand: Sanh für Bassklarinette, Violoncello und Klavier 10:38
Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op.114 – I. Allegro 07:25
Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op.114 – II. Adagio 07:09
Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op.114 – III. Andante grazioso 04:28
Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op.114 – IV. Allegro 04:22
Bernhard Lang: Monadologie XXVII – Brahms-Variationen #1 04:28
Bernhard Lang: Monadologie XXVII – Brahms-Variationen #2 07:57
Bernhard Lang: Monadologie XXVII – Brahms-Variationen #3 07:43
Total Time 54:10
Sanh 9,99 €  |  download
01 Trio Catch, Sanh, Christophe Bertrand: Sanh für Bassklarinette, Violoncello und Klavier 10:38
02 Trio Catch, Sanh, Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op. 114 - I. Allegro 07:26
03 Trio Catch, Sanh, Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op. 114 - II. Adagio 07:10
04 Trio Catch, Sanh, Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op. 114 - III. Andante grazioso 04:29
05 Trio Catch, Sanh, Johannes Brahms: Klarinettentrio, a-moll op. 114 - IV. Allegro 04:31
06 Trio Catch, Sanh, Bernhard Lang: Monadologie XXVII - Brahms Variationen #1 00:59
07 Trio Catch, Sanh, Bernhard Lang: Monadologie XXVII - Brahms Variationen #2 00:37
08 Trio Catch, Sanh, Bernhard Lang: Monadologie XXVII - Brahms Variationen #3 07:43
Trio Catch: Sanh
» “… ‘Music’ does not exist but happens …” «
“Trio Catch are like a fresh new brand for the old lady New Music.” (www.van-magazin.com) — Could there be a catchier way of phrasing it? Arnold Schönberg was not averse to the occasional catchy phrase, either, when he wrote that Brahms had put “new wine into old bottles”. The latter’s Clarinet Trio op. 114, written in 1891, is at the center of this album. The composer Bernhard Lang refers directly to Brahms in his Monadologie XXVII, as he extrapolates cells from the trio in a kind of mechanical adaptation. And the piece from which the album takes its title, Sanh, written by the late, lamented Alsatian composer Christophe Bertrand, is a world premiere recording. The Chinese word “san” to which the title refers means “three” or, as a verb, “to scatter”. Attributions are suspended, boundaries are fluid, both in space and in time. This approach to music is the link between col legno and Trio Catch, and we are happy to present their second solo album.
Difference & Repetition
Trio Catch plays works by Johannes Brahms, Bernhard Lang and Christophe Bertrand

“There is a priori no dogma and no order. There is an early music and a new music, tonal and atonal music, but besides these defined and limited terms there is also just purely ‘music’, being neither tonal nor atonal. ‘Music’ does not exist but happens and it is therefore misguided to want to specify what music is once and for all (…).” Amidst the ideologically charged pioneering years of the Darmstadt Summer School with all its aesthetic battles, 24-year-old Helmut Lachenmann presented a paper on “General Thoughts about the ‘New Music’ Problem” at the Stuttgart Academy of Music. The implicitness with which he supported a completely non-dogmatic understanding of the term ‘music’ seems in hindsight astonishing if not prophetic. Half a century later the problematic relationship between the musical present and musical past has been—whilst maintained—somewhat tempered, following post-serialism, post-modernism, the second modernity and other postludes to the avant-garde, shaking up the idea of a linear writing of music history and its ideology of musical progress. This has proven to be the case not only in regard to the manifold references to historical material that have been caught up in the contemporary daily practice of composing since the early 1970s, but also in regard to how we perceive music of the past as a ‘musical present’. In an ideal scenario, one has rejuvenated the hearing and the desensitised patterns of perception of a tradition that has been interpreted to death (that which Lachenmann once called the “aesthetic device”) through the attuned listening and performance practices of New Music.

The popular dichotomy between ‘old’ and ‘new’ music was never to be a meaningful category of Trio Catch’s artistic profile, even if one might think that at first glance: The formation that emerged from the International Ensemble Modern Academy has achieved international renown through progressively programmed chamber music. The musicians emphasise the point that “nothing is further from who we are than the practice of putting music in boxes, not even the ‘new music box’. The image that we have of ourselves — musicians as contemporary interpreters — reflects the openness and curiosity that we have toward all stylistic directions and forms of music.” It is not surprising in this regard that Helmut Lachenmann’s Allegro sostenuto (1986-88) and Brahms’ Clarinet Trio Op. 114 (1891) are both equally a major part of the trio’s repertoire.            

The artistic physiognomy of Johannes Brahms could not present more marked  evidence of the dialectical relationship between tradition, innovation and the conflicts that arise from these, which still give us a contradictory image of the composer even today. If Robert Schumann announced Brahms to be the Messiah of a new Romantic musical language in his essay “New Paths” (1853) then Hans von Bülow fancied him being Beethoven’s legitimate successor some 20 years later. Brahms glorified the music of the past to the point of renunciation of everything contemporary (including his own work) and stood opposed to the (at the time) ‘incomprehensible’ music of composers such as Liszt, Bruckner and Richard Strauss, not to mention Mahler. In the dispute with protagonists of the New German School, Brahms considered himself the keeper of the classical canon of form for as long as the accusations of reactionary academicism, classicism and eclecticism were alive. Thereby, the progressive aspects of Brahms’ music were keenly deplored as deficiencies by the most famous of his apologists. Eduard Hanslick criticised Brahms’ early piano pieces for exhibiting “poisonous dissonances”, “tormenting suspensions”, “a gloomy wildlife of pitches” and “puzzling rhythms”, which were all thanks to Brahms’ personal stylistic preference for rhythmic shifts of accent and the simultaneity of different rhythms and metres. Arnold Schoenberg later cleared up the prejudgements of mature Brahms-ian handicraft with his pioneering essay “Brahms, the Progressive”, written in reference to both the progressive aspects of Brahms’ fully realised technique “developing variation” and to the daring aspects of Brahms’ rhythmic and harmonic language. Just as Schoenberg did during his dodecaphonic phase, Brahms poured “new wine into old bottles” and this became a dictum in the general reception of his work.            
Brahms was thinking about putting aside composing shortly before an encounter, in 1891, with the Meiningen clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, a member of the local court orchestra. The author of Brahms’ first biography, Max Kalbeck, wrote the following about the exceptionally talented Mühlfeld: “One says, he owns a collection of ‘immortal’ reeds that were cut from the very same cane as that of Pan’s beloved Syrinx, whom Gaia transformed into a nymph … how else would he be able to conjure such magical sounds from his instrument?” Astounded by the exceptionally beautiful sound produced by this musician, Brahms wrote a number of works dedicated to Mühlfeld: the Clarinet Trio in A minor Op. 114 (1891), the Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op. 115 (1891) and the two Sonatas for clarinet and piano Op. 120 (1894). In the trio, Brahms’ technique of developing variation displays a high level of motivic and thematic condensation, enabling him to create an entire musical structure, even beyond the limits of single movements, by applying a process of metamorphosis to a very few musical nuclei. The two contrasting building blocks of the composition are presented at the outset: a soaring broken triad in crotchets spelling out the home key of A minor, which forms the melodic basis of the first subject; and a chromaticised movement of quavers circling somewhat aimlessly in steps of major and minor seconds. The trio moves as a unit between these two poles during never-ending variations, inversions, interweavings and self-references, from the melancholy and broody Allegro to the elegiac Adagio and folk-like Andantino, to the musically wound-up finale, which dissolves the first subject’s chains of thirds into intervallic jumps of sixths.            
Contemporary composers have always made reference to the music of Johannes Brahms, and not only in prominent arrangements such as Schoenberg’s orchestra version of Brahms’ Piano Quartet Op. 25. Genuine musical debates of our time with the late Romantic composer are numerous: in the concealed allusions of Ligeti’s Horn Trio (1982), written for the same instruments as Brahms’ trio; in the shattering of the principles of developing variation apparent in Miroslav Srnka’s Kráter Brahms (2007); or in the contemplation of thematic materials from Brahms’ four symphonies exhibited in Wolfgang Rihm’s orchestral cycle Nähe fern (2011/12), to name only a few examples. In the case of Bernhard Lang’s Monadologie XXVII (2013), subtitled Brahms-variations, the composer has helped himself to the compositional substance of the Brahms Clarinet Trio. The Austrian composer has been interested in machine-like ways of thinking during the creative process, resulting in a multipart series of experiments. In the works of the Differenz/Wiederholung (difference/repetition) series (begun in 1988), and in the recent Monadologies (begun in 2007), that which is being examined is the perceptive mechanism of repeated structures and the consequences of minimal differences, variation and disturbances of the perceived. Lang found inspiration not only in the writings of Gilles Deleuze but also in the use of cuts in the experimental films of Martin Arnold, the cinematographical process as defined by Raphael Montañez Ortiz, and even DJ-culture. Whilst in the DW-series the musical material was composed by Lang, the Monadology-series recruits existing and historical materials. Lang writes: “These monadologies are principally meta-compositions that are machine-like arrangements of existing scores, destroyed and reassembled by cellular automata and granulators …” The series has grown to boast over 30 compositions and has ‘destroyed’ works by Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Paganini, Bruckner, Puccini, Strauss, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern, and film music from Kubrik’s Space Odyssey,among others, as well as drawing from non-musical fields such as architecture, literature and visual art. Derived from Leibnitz, Lang’s term monadology refers to a “concentration on cellular musical events”, which develop their own life in a structural sense (similar to dynamic systems and self-organising structures) and that live off the tension between computer-generated ‘objectivity’ and ‘subjective’ manipulation. The problem of “authorship” is integrated by way of composition: “In one way or another, all composers repeat the same fundamental musical principles. Some notice it, others don’t. I want to make this … the subject of the discussion in that I ask myself who the author really is and what they do … I see my task as a composer as one of bringing things in order and then like a gardener, to step back and observe the growth.” It is remarkable how Lang’s process of deconstruction in the Brahms-variations reflects not only the complicated syncopated attitude to rhythm of the subject text, but ultimately refers to Brahms’ technique of developing variation on a meta-level. Lang takes only a few building blocks from the subject and catapults them into a process of constant change and transformation. This reveals itself in the first variation as a time-lapse-like, sallow-lit, fluorescent vaporisation of the opening of the Brahms Allegro, which invokes the music of Morton Feldman in terms of its construction and colourfulness.            

Belonging to the illustrious group of composers who passed away much too soon, Alsatian Christophe Bertrand’s expressive capability was starkly disproportionate to his short lifespan. Renowned orchestras, ensembles and conductors had already performed Bertrand’s works by the time he committed suicide at the age of 29, in September 2010; five months before a planned world premiere of a large work for orchestra with the Strasbourg Philharmonic. Sanh for bass clarinet, violoncello and piano (2007) refers to the Chinese word “san”, which means (the number) “three” and the verb “to scatter/disperse”. In focus are complex sonic processes that produce conditions of “permanent asyncronicity” over the course of five sections and thereby cast a microtonal cloud over a principally diatonically conceived harmony. One senses Bertrand’s aesthetic attachment to György Ligeti not only in his preference for the tactile sensuality of the refined instrumental apparatus (and the aversion to electronics and multimedia) but most of all in an affinity to harmonic heterogeny and highly complex polyphony. Both come with an unfathomable and “dangerous” kind of virtuosity directed towards the production of a “frenetic energy”. Even in many-voiced orchestral works such as Mana (2004-05) and Vertigo for two pianos and orchestra (2006-07), every single part is considered to be fundamentally soloistic without being brought into the foreground thematically.            

In Sanh the polyrhythmic gestures condense in various phases to create what is at times an orgiastic intensity. Bertrand’s generous use of “Asian” techniques of sound production — realised by microtonal appoggiaturas, Arabesque wanderings around a central pitch, trills and mini-glissandi — make fluid the contours of the musical progression. Despite the similarity of this micro-polyphonic reckoning with its washed-out tirades of sound, “elastic continua” and broken mechanics, it would be far too easy and cheap to accuse Bertrand of having a purely imitative relationship to György Ligeti. Bertrand’s music fascinates with a completely original voice that is difficult to grasp. He appears to draw his particular concision from beneath the formally contrived and controlled surface (in which an obsessive use of the Fibonacci series can be observed), where it emotionally boils and cooks, without wanting to aesthetically mystify Bertrand’s existential tragedy by way of an apotheosis of the morbid and the melancholy. This reveals itself in the expressively loaded performance instructions and the heightening and compression of sound that appear as attempts at breaking out of one’s own self-imposed restraints (Bertrand spoke often about “Carceri d’invenzione” by Brian Ferneyhough, that were necessary in order to tame a boundless will to express). The name of the ensemble co-founded by Bertrand is representative of a life that could no longer be compensated by art: “In extremis”.

(by Dirk Wiescholleck)                                                                                 
Trio Catch
To catch the audience: with a virtuosic dialogue between the very different timbres of the clarinet, cello, and piano; through the joy of making music together; through searching tirelessly for a shared sound. This is what makes Trio Catch stand out. Boglárka Pecze (clarinet), Eva Boesch (cello) and Sun-Young Nam (piano) met during scholarships at the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankfurt, after which they formed Trio Catch, named after “Catch” by Thomas Adès, in which the clarinet is “caught” by a piano trio that plays a charming children’s round. Alongside performing classical music, the interpretation of contemporary music is one of the main focuses of their collaboration. The Hamburg-based trio have worked with numerous composers during their five years together, including Mark Andre, Georges Aperghis, Beat Furrer and Helmut Lachenmann, with whom they are also connected by various CD productions and radio recording projects.

The trio won the Gotthard Schierse Foundation concert award in Berlin in 2011, the Hermann and Milena Ebel prize in 2012 and was awarded with the Berenberg Kulturpreis in 2014. A busy schedule has already seen Trio Catch playing concerts in Germany, France, Austria, Spain, the Benelux countries and Switzerland as well as at festivals such as the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music, Ultraschall Berlin, Tage für Neue Musik Zurich and the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. They are also on tour in the 2015/16 season, playing at some of the greatest concert halls in Europe as part of the European Concert Halls Organisation’s “Rising Stars” series.

Trio Catch are involved in music education, running the children’s composition workshop “Louder” at Klangspuren Schwaz, and workshops for students of composition as the Musikhochschule Hamburg’s ensemble in residence, as well as performing in schools around Hamburg as part of the JeKi (an instrument for every child) concept. They have also held a teaching post at the Musikhochschule Hamburg since the summer semester of 2014.

Boglárka Pecze, clarinet & bass clarinet
Eva Boesch, violoncello
Sun-Young Nam, piano

Music and carpets? Well, the latter’s slightly irregular patterns certainly inspired Morton Feldman to write his Crippled Symmetry (1983). 
Helmschrott breathes new life into an ancient, once-popular instrumental form, masterfully leading it in new musical directions with his 12 church sonatas. 
col legno