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Highly Acclaimed ECM New Issue with Music of Valentin Silvestrov

The Rosamunde Quartet, Maacha Deubner (soprano), Silke Avenhaus and Valentin Silvestrov himself (piano) have recorded works of the Ukrainian-born composer on the ECM label (ECM 1776). The echo from the press has been most enthusiastic. Wolfgang Rathert writes the following in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (23.11.2002):

"(...) Paradoxically, this quality of his music does not lie in complex, involved technical means, but rather in the conscious return to apparently traditional, even neo-romantic positions since Silvestrov's new orientation at the beginning of the 1970s. The accusation of being reactionary and of being ignorant of the famous/notorious 'historical state of the material' is not far away. But this accusation reveals itself as unfounded, especially since Silvestrov demonstrated in his earlier works with what sovereignty he mastered avant-garde techniques. But then, he undermined 'the' tradition (which is in truth always the composer's own very personal tradition) in a dialectical way. He led the sounds back to an original basis of elementary experience long thought to be forgotten. Although Silvestrov uses tonality as the most important means in all its manifestations, it is not identical to this original basis. Far more, it is the re-conquest of an expressive magic in music already attributed to it by the ancients. Silvestrov's music is, of course, not merely pleasant; it requires an unusual effort from both listeners and interpreters. They must be prepared to turn to an unreal sound landscape in which one can submerge oneself, yet which forces one to be reflective. (...)

The present CD brings together four representative chamber works from the years 1974 until 2001: the First String Quartet, Three Postludes for a variable vocal-instrumental ensemble, the monumental Cello Sonata and the 'Hymn 2001' for piano, played by Silvestrov himself. The performers are congenial interpreters whose intensive collaboration with the composer is audible every moment. Their achievement, together with the subtle essay of Tatiana Frumkis and the excellent recording technique, completely in accordance with the character of this music, make this one of the most important issues of the year."