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Saar Berger und Rune Brodahl

Sonorous - Music for Two Horns


1 Tomasso Antonio Vitali: Chaconne for violin and basso continuo

2 Johann Sebastian Bach: Fughetta à 2 for harpsichord BWV 961

3 Johann Sebastian Bach: Allemande from the 2nd Partita for solo violin
BWV 1004

4 Johann Sebastian Bach: Andante from the 2nd Sonata for solo violin BWV 1003

5 Johann Sebastian Bach: Chaconne from the 2nd Partita for solo violin
BWV 1004

6 Georg Philipp Telemann: 1. Fantasie for solo violin TWV 40:14

7 Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Sonata XVI: Passaglia for solo violin
(from the Mistery Sonatas)

8 Henri Vieuxtemps: Capriccio Hommage à Paganini for viola, op. 55

Video zu Saar Berger und Rune Brodahl

Besprechnung der CD Sonorous bei HR2 in der Sendung "Kulturzeit" besprochen

Every notation is, in itself, the transcription of an abstract idea
(Ferruccio Busoni). A score does not
retain the absolute truth about a musical work, it rather serves as a
starting point for its various possible
realisations. The first arrangement of a piece of music occurs when the
composer writes the ideas down
on paper. Moreover, every performance is in itself also an arrangement in a
wider sense, a collaboration
between instrument, player and score which transports the music from the
paper to the ears of the listener
and thus transforms its substance while trying to keep its essence intact.
The great pianist, composer and arranger Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji said that
a good arrangment expounds,
enlarges and amplifies matter and thought that has been left [...] to
discover and reveal. What
I find exciting about this is that it opens the possibility to engage in a
dialogue on equal terms with the
composer, where I can get to know the composer's music and tools, explore
whatever meaning they have
to me and pass this meaning on to the performers. It is a task that requires
subtlety, refinement, imagination
and authenticity and an important challenge as a composer.
When Saar Berger and Rune Brodahl asked me to arrange the Chaconne for
them, I immediately thought
about some questions Bach and his contemporaries had to deal with three
hundred years ago: in order to
be able to write complex harmonies and rich polyphonic counterpoints for one
single melodic instrument,
they transformed the diagonal playing techniques of the lute and adapted
them to the violin and its
family among others. The technical limitations of the instruments were not a
hurdle to overcome, but a
source of musical creativity which was used to shape compositional ideas and
their final realisation. The
instrument-medium began to be used as an active component of the musical
process rather than
a mere neutral tool to translate a score into sound. Having two horns at
hand, I decided to apply the
same strategy: I would break, unfold and share all hidden voices, chords and
arpeggios between the two
horns, remaining faithful to the original but incorporating another set of
instrumental possibilities. In
thoroughly polyphonic pieces like Bach's Chaconne or the Andante from the
2nd Sonata, the two horns
melt and intertwine, jumping among three or four different voices and
sometimes creating the illusion of
a third horn which is not there in reality. In some cases, passages which
could never be played by a horn
alone (for example the long arpeggio chorals in Bach's Chaconne) are
transformed into genuinely new
horn textures unimaginable for the violin. In other cases, like Telemann's
Fantasie 1, Bach's Allemande
from the 2nd Partita, Biber's Passacaglia and Vitali's Chaconne, both
horns take over one single melodic
line, amplifying it and building its own harmony out of the resonance of some
of the notes, as if they were
playing in a large hall or a church. As a result, harmonic and melodic
relations only potentially present in
the original come to the surface, revealing perspectives of listening that
were not possible before.
Nevertheless, the most significant matter was to keep the essence of the
original works and at the same
time go beyond a mere transcription. As a violin player, the intimacy of this
solo pieces has influenced my
musical thought enormously: they involve a way of making and understanding
music that is not present
in chamber or orchestral compositions. In the 18th century, this kind of
music was meant be played at
home for personal entertainment, in private concerts for a small audience or
sometimes in churches. That
influences the degree of compositional detail and refinement and the kind of
inner virtuosity they require
from the performer (one could hardly imagine more different conditions from
the ones where music for
brass instruments developed from: choral, symphonic, extrovert, often related
to open-air events and big
audiences). For this reason I had to think of a way of bringing this intimacy
to the horn duo, making both
performers not only play together, but interact as if they were one only
instrument. In these arrangements,
whenever there is a dialogue, it is not a rhetoric one that creates a tension
to keep the musical
interest; it is rather an internal one, where the two horns become the shadow
of each other, smoothly
recreating an illusion of polyphony while playing big leaps and quick
figures, and moreover integrating the
sound colour, dynamic range and long expressive phrasing of the horn in a
kind of music which sometimes
requires lightness and flexibility. Saar and Rune's interpretation does not
only manage that, but also
develops new ways of sound that enrich the expressive possibilities of the
horn in a very personal way,
opening a field which takes the music of Bach, Telemann, Vieuxtemps, Vitali
and Biber far beyond the
classical repertoire and deep into contemporary performance practice.

CDs / DVDs → CD - Horn

Bestellnummer: CH62989

15,00 €

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