Gregers Brinch Vol. 2 – Kåverdalen – CC5993


“Interesting new music superbly recorded and impeccably played”

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Opus 26 Suite for Solo Cello was composed in several stages between 1999 and 2001. The work was given its world premiere by Vasja Legisha in London’s St Pauls church in Covent Garden in 2005.

Energico con moto starts with an octave flourish in on a Mixolydian mode in C. The movement is a juxtaposition of a strong percussive idiom with more melodious and tonal passages of a Baroque flavour. The treatment of the material never forces the music to abandon its tonal roots, but seeks to find genuine life and quality both though time and space. All the while the movement offers the cellist rich material for bringing out the natural sonority of the instrument.

Andante Tranquillo starts with a fifth extending to a further fifth above thus creating a ninth, which is treated neither as a suspension or a chord. It offers an expansive starting point from which to explore deeper timbres and more mysterious harmonies. Recitative-like passages interspersed with pizzicato phrases lend an oratory expression to the piece, as well as warm tremolo passages which lead into expressive melodic textures.

Moderato actually gives the impression of quite a fast moving pace. The feel is of a firm ostinato with a percussive treatment arising from a clear tonal centre. The music constantly hovers between major and minor, and whereas the 2nd movement was searching in its meditative quality this movement is short and pithy, confident in form and content and boldly stepping into a Rock and Roll idiom at times.

Finale Allegro ma non Troppo cascades down from a long held high C, which as a tonal centre links all the four movements. The energetic percussive themes are here interspersed with plaintive, melodic strains which synthesize into a final build-up which finishes the piece in an optimistic and even triumphant mood. This final movement was performed on a number of occasions in the context of dance performance with a choreography for 5 dancers.

Opus 95 Parzival Suite for Solo Flute

The Parzival suite for solo flute was composed over a period of 14 months. Anfortas’ dream was the first to be composed as a result of hearing Julie Groves’ new flute. The rest of the suite was composed with themes in mind from the 12 century Story of Parzival by the Bavarian poet and Knight Wolfram von Eschenbach. Although evocative, the pieces were not composed with any programme as such, merely a mood and a sense of momentum. The challenge of composing for a solo instrument has long been of particular interest to me as a means of exploring and developing a sense of the melodic medium as the exponent of the musical narrative with all the dramatic elements of a polyphonic work. Having composed a number of works for solo cello and solo violin, I was keen to explore the flute in particular with such an inspiring performer in mind. The “musical” name of Bach turns up very frequently in my works. In addition to that the ‘Shostakovich theme’ as well as my own, both feature in Anfortas’ Dream and The Heart of the Matter. This is my homage to these two great inspirations on my own creations.

 Anfortas’ Dream explores disease and despair mingled with long suffering hope and within the context of being sustained by the Grail on a daily basis.

The Fool portrays the young naive Parzival with all the vigour and simplicity of youth that has grown up in a protected environment.

The Heart of the Matter addresses the character of Gawain whose heart and journey in search of the eternal feminine is the subject matter of the middle and longest movement.

Searching for the Grail is the story of Parzival, having failed once in redeeming and healing the wounded Anfortas by asking the question: “what ails thee”, on a quest to find the Grail again and the process of maturing he goes through as a consequence of this quest.

The enchanted castle refers to the castle of Klingsor where countless maidens are imprisoned and where Gawain sets out to fight a bed and unseen assailants in a most perilous battle that stretches his courage to the limit.

Opus 89 Sonata Brevis for Solo Cello is dedicated to Rohan de Saram. The four movements were written in a very short time immediately after recording the two Sonatas for Cello and Piano with Rohan and William Hancox.

Risoluto combines three different elements. A principal theme sets out an integrated melodic harmonic and rhythmical statement which returns in a rondo like fashion between passages or “recitatives” and more percussive elements. The space that opens up plays a major role in this movement.

Moderato con moto is built upon a series of modal chord structures. Varying qualities of space emerge upon which higher melodic lines move swiftly, always resting upon the memory of the deeper chord structures.

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After studying in Germany and England, Brinch’s compositional striving intensified, helping him achieve a greater sense of freedom and the capacity to embrace the demands of his inspirations. His in depth study of the intervals in particular saw him develop a keen interest into the role of Major and Minor in Classical diatonic tonality. This in turn has led him to view classical music completely afresh. He increasingly experienced the capacity of music to conjure the qualities of another place and time within the soul of the listener.

Brinch’s native Denmark provides a feeling for a wide natural landscape including the coastline with long beaches and rolling sand dunes that were the joy of his childhood. These find their way into the music and are the backdrop to a wide spectrum of feelings that feature in his music.

More Releases on Claudio:

Brinch Volume 1 – CC5889

Spirals Volume 3 – CC5996