Review by Audiophile.no February 18, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|"The view was all in lines" is a typical release from 2L. In other words, a publication that stands out by being untypical ..
The music on this album is composed by three composers. There a span of 100 years in composition date, although this is not very striking when listening to the music. Despite these 100 years it is tempting to use the label of contemporary music, also for Schoenberg's music here.
We start with Arnold Schoenberg who in 1911 composed the 6 small pieces for piano. Five of those in a day, and the sixth soon after. This was in the then very modern music that challenged tonality. These pieces are rendered in native costume and order at the end of the disc.
In addition, pianist and longstanding artistic director in Cikada - Kenneth Karlsson - engaged the two Norwegian composers Rolf Wallin and Anders Schaatun to compose relating piano pieces. Also this in one day, as Schoenberg did with the first 5 in opus 19. The result for me has been a surprisingly homogeneous collection of 12 small piano pieces, where there are no striking contrasts at all between Schoenberg and the two Norwegian composers. Rather more like facets on a palette.
The disc's opening is a composition of Rolf Wallin, written for Håkon Austbø and the dance-ensemble Carte Blanche. It is a collection of small pieces called "seven imperatives". This is to my ears the composition that strongly differs from the rest of the disc, and I imagine we are also exposed to a characteristic difference between Wallin and Schaatun. The 7 imperatives have a character where rhythmic patterns and variations, sometimes almost as grooves, are prominent and have a harder character than we find in Schoenberg's pieces, which - despite its modernity - has a lyrical and romantic character. For me, this is increasingly mirrored in Schaatun than in Wallin, but without this being perceived as a Wallin disadvantage. I find perhaps the 7 imperatives being the most exciting part of the recording.
Both "Transcriptions of an Unknown Sympony" and "Schaathun: Stravinsky and Bach goes Schaathun goes Frescobaldi" confirms for me the impression Schaatun as a more lyrical composer on this disc, where the first of these two compositions also have clear dark features.
Powerful contrast to when Wallin subsequent "Etude 3" , which has clear rhythmic elements.
No one who knows Morten Lindberg`s multi-channel productions will be surprised that we are close. Very close. Combined with the well-known transparency and striking dynamic gives the recording an almost piano-internal-medical experience. Especially when the piano gets blade out and being exposed to all the details of ressonance of a Steinway grand placed at Henie Onstad Art Centre.
It is also unneccesary to mention how important the explosive dynamics is the experience of Wallin rhythmic imperatives
It's a fascinating idea that this sound reproduction is not just a usual hifi thing. Whether it is going too far to define sound quality and mixing as part of the artwork, it is certainly appropriate to give it a rightful place as an important pillar in the dissemination of works of art.
This review was originally written and published by me in the webmagazine www.Audiophile.no in
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