Garth Knox: Saltarello | ECM New Series 4764501

Garth Knox: Saltarello

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Label: ECM New Series

Cat No: 4764501

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 19th March 2012

Contents

About

Garth Knox is one of the most versatile and audacious string players today, a member of the famous Arditti Quartet for eight years and a virtuoso viola soloist, he is now a leading exponent of the viola d’amore (the rare instrument from the Baroque era with seven playing and another seven resonating strings that allow for a particularly full and warm sound). On 'Saltarello' he plays both instruments, as well as the fiddle, in an astonishing range of music spanning 1000 years.

From opposite ends of this timescale are Hildegard of Bingen’s Ave, generosa, a song of praise to the Virgin Mary, and Vent Nocturne, pieces for viola and electronics written for Knox by Kaija Saariaho. The adventurous programme also brings in Guillaume de Machaut, John Dowland and Purcell, a concerto for viola d’amore by Vivaldi, and a new work for solo viola by Garth himself, plus his captivating arrangements of 14th century dances and traditional Celtic tunes (he was born in Ireland and raised in Scotland). Sounds and feelings resonate across the centuries…

Knox comments: “Each of my instruments – medieval fiddle, viola d’amore and viola – brings its own perspective and sound world to the chosen pieces, and is complemented by its corresponding partner (fiddle/percussion, viola d’amore/cello and viola/electronics). The aim was to ‘bring back’ the pieces to the present day and to explore them here and now without destroying their inherent qualities.

He is joined for different pieces by percussionist Sylvain Lemêtre or French cellist Agnès Vesterman, who also contributed to his previous “hypnotic” recital for ECM, 'D’Amore', named as Gramophone’s ‘Disc of the Month’ in September, 2008.

This is quite simply one of the most outstandingly magical discs I have heard. From the very first notes one is totally captivated by the fantastic richness of the sound produced by the combination of the viola d’amore and the cello. … Stunning” - Gramophone
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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