George Benjamin: Shadowlines; Viola, Viola; Three Studies; Piano Sonata

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
To avoid the staid patterns of homophonic music, which he felt hindered his development of a fluid atonal style, George Benjamin has devised techniques that place independent voices in striking linear relationships, almost wholly divorced from notions of harmonic movement. The work that best represents Benjamin's advanced theories is "Shadowlines" 2001, a series of six highly complex canonic preludes for piano, dedicated to and premiered on this disc by Pierre-Laurent Aimard. The constant counterpoint is propulsive and flowing, though its imitative subjects are elaborately concealed and difficult to hear. The duet "Viola, Viola" 1997, energetically performed by Tabea ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
To avoid the staid patterns of homophonic music, which he felt hindered his development of a fluid atonal style, George Benjamin has devised techniques that place independent voices in striking linear relationships, almost wholly divorced from notions of harmonic movement. The work that best represents Benjamin's advanced theories is "Shadowlines" 2001, a series of six highly complex canonic preludes for piano, dedicated to and premiered on this disc by Pierre-Laurent Aimard. The constant counterpoint is propulsive and flowing, though its imitative subjects are elaborately concealed and difficult to hear. The duet "Viola, Viola" 1997, energetically performed by Tabea Zimmermann and Antoine Tamestit, is also cast in a linear fashion, though the use of multi-stopped textures makes the lines seem densely woven and more harmonically layered than contrapuntal. Less coherently laid out are the "Studies 3 for solo piano" 1982-1985 and the student "Piano Sonata" 1979, which are performed here by the composer. Predating Benjamin's theoretical breakthroughs of the mid-'90s, these works are freer avant-garde explorations, occasionally derivative of the idiosyncratic style of his teacher, Olivier Messiaen. Overall, the recording is good, though the last two piano pieces are ADD and sound a little hazy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/7/2004
  • Label: Nimbus Records
  • UPC: 723721034856
  • Catalog Number: 5713
  • Sales rank: 216,547

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–6 Shadowlines, 6 canonic preludes for piano - George Benjamin & Pierre-Laurent Aimard (15:08)
    Composed byGeorge Benjamin
    1. 1I. Cantabile
    2. 2II. Wild
    3. 3III. Scherzando
    4. 4IV. Tempestoso
    5. 5V. Very freely, solemn and spacious
    6. 6VI. Gently flowing, flexible
  2. 7 Viola, Viola, for 2 violas - George Benjamin & Tabea Zimmermann (10:22)
    Composed byGeorge Benjamin
  3. 8–10 Studies (3) for solo piano - George Benjamin & George Benjamin (21:39)
    Composed byGeorge Benjamin
    1. 8Fantasy on Iambic Rhythm
    2. 9Meditation on Haydn's Name
    3. 10Relativity Rag
  4. 11–13 Piano Sonata - George Benjamin & George Benjamin (22:30)
    Composed byGeorge Benjamin
    1. 11I. Vivace
    2. 12II. Lento
    3. 13III. Allegro straziando
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Benjamin Primary Artist
Zimmermann Primary Artist
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