ELLIOTT CARTER (1908-2012): 4 Lauds, EMMANUEL NUNES (b.1941): Einspielung I, PIERRE BOULEZ (1925-2016): Anthems I, SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): 6 Capricci.
Catalogue Number: 10T061
Reference: AECD 1755
Description: This recital is significant in that Arditti hasn't often taken the solo works that he has tirelessly championed into the recording studio, and when he had a chance to record pieces by composers with whom he has been associated for many years, he jumped at it. Sciarrino's Capricci are archetypal Arditti material; meticulously notated exercises in subtle skitterings of the bow over the strings and relentlessly tricky harmonics. The sensitivity of touch and precision required for these pieces makes them extraordinary additions to the repertoire. They aren't just exercises in fragile sonorities either; the odd-numbered ones have a distinct rhythmic impulse. By contrast, Carter's Lauds- little characterful tributes to fellow musicians important in his career - are timbrally 'normal', though they offer a completely different set of challenges; exploiting the polyphonic possibilities of the violin and rhythmic precision of the player in the way we commonly associate with Carter's works for multiple musicians. Nunes' work is constructed with obsessive precision, both in terms of pitch (the microtonal differentiation of harmonics, for instance), rhythm and tempi (there are 219 indicated tempo changes, effectively producing an effect of notated rubato in an already rhythmically complex piece. Boulez' Anthèmes I is heard here in the final version without electronics. Though inevitably complex, the work's capricious nature, elegance and unexpected flashes of humour make it downright accessible; it's surprising how often Boulez reminds us that he was a French composer as much as he was a formidable avant-gardiste, steeped in the traditions he ostensibly rejected (and conducted so beautifully!). Irvine Arditti (violin).