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Psalm - Fugitive Pieces - Psalm

NEOS 11022CD NEOS 11022CD

2011 release. All the pieces on this CD are drawn from words. The central movement of the three-movement string quartet Psalm was inspired by Paul Celan's like-named poem dealing with the longing for a compassionate God -- despite his non-existence. The words are recited by the strings in a sort of Sprechgesang and move between several levels of association both in a historical and in a religious sense. Motifs recalling scraps of Jewish prayers (including microtonal elements) are heard alongside elements from the Christian hymn tradition (Michael Praetorius' 'Lo, how a rose e'er blooming'). Two other poems by Paul Celan that are related to Psalm served as sources of inspiration for movements 1 and 3, where however they are not spoken. In the agitated final movement, Sandvolk (People of the sands), oriental-esque motifs and rhythms describe the seemingly biblical desert scenes of the poem (High above, noiseless). A single word survives: Wasser (Water). This movement is closely linked motivically with the opening movement, Auge der Zeit (Eye of time). The extraordinarily rich, pulsating and poetic language of Anne Michaels's novel Fugitive Pieces inspired the like-named cycle of piano pieces consisting of several short sound-images. The book relates the story of Jacob Beer, a Jewish boy from a village in Poland who survives after his entire family is shot by the Nazis. It tells of his solitary flight through forests and swamps, his miraculous rescue by the Greek archaeologist Athos, his survival in hiding on the island of Zakynthos and his obsession with the fate of his older sister Bella and her music, specifically the Brahms Intermezzi and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. The novel takes place simultaneously on multiple levels of consciousness and reality. Performed by the Auritus-Quartett: Key-Thomas Märkl (violin), Leopold Lercher (violin), Klaus-Peter Werani (viola), Stefan Trauer (violoncello), and Gilead Mishory, (piano), Julius Berger (violoncello).