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Kim Kashkashian, Sivan Magen & Marina Piccinini
Tre Voci

Kim Kashkashian, Sivan Magen & Marina Piccinini — Tre Voci (September 2014)

USA Flag Kim Kashkashian, Sivan Magen & Marina Piccinini — Tre Voci 
♣   Violist Kashkashian is a great proponent of new music that features her instrument, doing much to expand its repertoire and audience.
Born: August 31, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan
Instruments: Viola
Location: New York
Album release: September 2014
Recorded: April 2013
Record Label: ECM New Series 2345
Duration:     52:07
Tōru Takemitsu
01/I. And then I knew ´twas Wind     15:10
Claude Debussy
01/II. Sonata for flute, viola and harp
02 Pastorale. Lento, dolce rubato     7:07
03 Interlude. Tempo di Minuetto     6:09
04 Finale. Canción y danza VI     4:56
Sofia Gubaidulina
05 Garten von Freuden und Traurigkeiten     18:46
♣   Marina Piccinini: flute
♣   Kim Kashkashian: viola
♣   Sivan Magen: harp
♣   Claude Debussy Composer
♣   Emily Dickinson Poetry
♣   Manfred Eicher Producer
♣   Sofia Gubaidulina Composer
♣   Markus Heiland Recording Supervision
♣   Kim Kashkashian Cover Photo, Member of Featured Artist, Primary Artist
♣   Sascha Kleis Design
♣   Sivan Magen Member of Featured Artist, Primary Artist
♣   Fay Damaris Neary Liner Note Translation
♣   Marina Piccinini Member of Featured Artist
♣   J. Bradford Robinson Liner Note Translation
♣   Claire Stefani Photography
♣   Jurg Stenzl Liner Notes
♣   Toru Takemitsu Composer
♣   Tre Voci Ensemble, Primary Artist
♠♠  Kim Kashkashian, who won a Grammy last year with her solo viola Kurtág/Ligeti disc, returns with a new trio. Tre Voci includes Italian–American flutist Marina Piccinini and Israeli harpist Sivan Magen. All 3 musicians have been acknowledged for bringing a new voice to their instruments.
♣   Kashkashian, Piccinini and Magen first played together at the 2010 Marlboro Music Festival, and agreed that the potential of this combination was too great to limit it to a single season. Since then they have been developing their repertoire. On this compelling first release it revolves around Debussy’s 1915 Sonata for flute, viola and harp and its influence, most directly felt in Takemitsu’s shimmering “And then I knew ‘twas wind”.
♣   Debussy himself had been profoundly moved by his encounter with music of the East and in his last works was emphasizing tone–colour, texture and timbre and a different kind of temporal flow. In this music, the elasticity of Debussy’s feeling for time (as Heinz Holliger observed) pointed far into the future and to the works of Boulez. And indeed to the music of Sofia Gubaidulina, whose “Garden of Joys and Sorrows” makes its own reckoning with orient and occident. Gubaidulina has said that she considers herself “a daughter of two worlds, whose soul lives in the music of the East and the West”.
♣   As Jürg Stenzl points out in the liner notes, hardly any composer of his generation was more greatly affected by the discovery of Debussy's music than Tōru Takemitsu: “This largely self–taught composer had already studied a broad range of recent 'western' musics before he turned to the 'classical' traditions of his native Japan. The late work ‘And then I knew 'twas Wind’ scored for the same instruments as Debussy's second sonata, is especially characteristic of his understanding of music” … and emphasizes what Takemitsu called “the vibrant complexity of sound as it exists in the instrument”. His composition resembles Debussy's in its free and rhapsodic form, but unlike Debussy's 'musique pure', Takemitsu's title relates to a poem by Emily Dickinson:
♠♠  “Like Rain it sounded till it curved / And then I knew ‘twas Wind — / It walked as wet as any Wave / But swept as dry as sand — / When it had pushed itself away / To some remotest Plain …”
♣   Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Garten von Freuden und Traurigkeiten” (“Garden of Joys and Sorrows”) also draws upon lyric poetry for inspiration. The work concludes with a recitation of a poem by Austrian–born writer Francisco Tanzer, but its title comes from a text by the Moscow poet Iv Oganov.
♣   The vivid imagery of Oganov’s poem makes itself forcefully felt in Gubaidulina’s work: “The lotus was set aflame by music / The white garden began to ring again with diamond borders.” The composer, in her words, was compelled to a concrete aural perception of this garden, explored at length in the music. As with Takemitsu the flow of the work retains an improvisational freshness, and the combined sound–colours of viola, harp and flute are as beguiling as in the Debussy sonata.
♣   Tre Voci’s album was recorded in April, 2013 at the Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano, and produced by Manfred Eicher. It is released in time for a European tour with a programme including music of Debussy, Takemitsu and Gubaidulina.
♣   Kim Kashkashian is recognized internationally as a unique voice on the viola. A staunch proponent of contemporary music, she has developed creative relationships with György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli and Arvo Pärt and premiered commissioned works by Peter Eötvös, Betty Olivero, Ken Ueno, Thomas Larcher, Lera Auerbach and Tigran Mansurian.
♣   In addition to Tre Voci, Kashkashian has ongoing duo partnerships with pianist Robert Levin and with percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky. As soloist she has appeared with the orchestras of Berlin, London, Vienna, Milan, New York and Cleveland in collaboration with Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser–Möst, Zoltán Kocsis, Dennis Russell Davies, Herbert Blomstedt, David Robertson and Heinz Hollige
Kim Kashkashian’s association with ECM since 1985 has resulted in a rich discography which includes the viola sonatas of Hindemith and Brahms, an album of Argentinian songs, the concertos of Schnittke, Bartók, Penderecki and Kurtág, as well as the Bach viola da gamba sonatas, recorded with Keith Jarrett. Kim Kashkashian lives in Boston, where she teaches chamber music and viola at New England Conservatory.
♣   Marina Piccinini, once described by Gramophone as “the Heifetz of the flute”, performs as soloist with major orchestras including the Boston Symphony, the London Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Vienna Symphony. Since making acclaimed debuts in New York, London and Tokyo, she continues to perform as a recitalist and chamber musician around the globe, frequently collaborating with such artists as Andreas Haefliger, Mitsuko Uchida, the Tokyo, Brentano, Mendelssohn, and Takács quartets.
♣   The first flutist to win Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant, she also won first prize in Canada’s CBC Young Performers Competition, and New York’s Concert Artists Guild International Competition, amongst many other awards. A graduate of The Juilliard School, her mentors include Julius Baker, Jeanne Baxtresser and Aurèle Nicolet. She is Professor of Flute at the Peabody Institute in the USA and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany.
♣   Harpist Sivan Magen has appeared as a soloist across the US, South America, Europe and Israel, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw and the Vienna Konzerthaus, and with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.
♣   The only Israeli to have won the International Harp Contest in Israel and the 2012 Award Winner of the Borletti–Buitoni Trust, Sivan is also an avid chamber musician, has performed at the Marlboro, Kuhmo, Giverny, and Jerusalem International Chamber Music festivals, with Musicians from Marlboro, and is a founding member of the award winning Israeli Chamber Project.
♣   2014 Nov 13 Vaterstetten Bürgerhaus Neuferloh. Works by: Rameau, Gubaidulina, Ravel/ Salzedo, Takemitsu, Debussy Germany
♣   2014 Nov 19 Hannover Hannover Congress Centrum. Works by: Rameau, Gubaidulina, Ravel/ Salzedo, Takemitsu, Debussy Germany
♣   2014 Nov 20 Kaiserslautern Städtische Fruchthalle. Works by: Rameau, Gubaidulina, Ravel/ Salzedo, Takemitsu, Debussy Germany
♣   2014 Nov 22 Gent Handelsbeurs Concertzaal. Works by: Rameau, Gubaidulina, Ravel/ Salzedo, Takemitsu, Debussy Belgium
♣   2014 Nov 23 Warstein Haus Kupferhammer. Works by: Rameau, Gubaidulina, Ravel/ Salzedo, Takemitsu, Debussy Germany
♣   2014 Nov 24 Neumarkt Festsaal im Historischen Reitstadel. Works by: Rameau, Gubaidulina, Ravel/ Salzedo, Takemitsu, Debussy Germany
Label: http://www.ecmrecords.com/
Website: http://www.sivanmagen.com/live/
Artist Biography by Uncle Dave Lewis
♣   If anyone has "made" the viola in the latter part of the twentieth century, it has been American violist Kim Kashkashian. Born in Detroit and of Armenian extraction, Kashkashian studied the viola with Karen Tuttle and legendary violist Walter Trampler at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.
♣   Kashkashian has been a staunch proponent of commissioning new works for her instrument. The list of composers who have written works especially for her reads like a "Who's Who" of contemporary composition: Arvo Pärt, Tigran Mansurian, Peter Eötvös, Krzysztof Penderecki, Paul Chihara, Sofiya Gubaidulina, Linda Bouchard, Giya Kancheli, and György Kurtág are all among them. A frequent flyer at the Marlboro Music Festival, Kashkashian was strongly influenced in her approach toward commissioning new music for chamber combinations in her role as assistant to one of the festival's organizers, violinist Felix Galimir. It was also at Marlboro that Kashkashian met pianist Robert Levin, with whom she frequently performs and records; other public events at which Kashkashian can regularly be seen include the Salzburg, Lockenhaus, and Stavenger festivals in Europe. Kashkashian's musicianship has been well represented on recordings through her association with Germany's ECM label in a happy collaboration that celebrates its third decade in 2014.
♣   Kashkashian has written eloquently about the neglect of the viola and the reasons her instrument has been consigned to second-class status for so long. The instrument she terms "the much–maligned viola" has a first–class champion who works to broaden the range of technique, advocacy, and repertoire for the instrument. Kim Kashkashian teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Kim Kashkashian, Sivan Magen & Marina Piccinini
Tre Voci