Two works from composer Frey performed by Montreal's string ensemble Quatuor Bozzini: "String Quartet No. 3", a minimal work of colors, sensations, shadows, durations; and "Unhorbare Zeit" exploring durations without sound, or empty volumes, to achieve lucidity and transparency.
String Quartet No. 3 / Unhorbare Zeit
Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Released in: Germany
"The string quartet [String Quartet No. 3] sounds sometimes like the silence of a square, a room, a wall or a landscape. The music is silent, but not absent. It is not speechless, and it also does not move with virtuosity bordering on silence. The music gets its vitality and its radiance, not from gesture and figuration, but in quiet presence - everything is there: colours, sensations, shadows, durations. The music is silent architecture.
The music has different emotional and architectural sonic spaces. Voluminous and fallow land, lightness and heaviness of materials, intimacy and being lost appear and disappear. And there are lines between which one crosses quietly. This music is created by simple and clear procedures; however, the requirement for the precision increases. Elemental materials and constructions are thereby perceived as a sensation, and mindfulness consists in hanging these sensations in balance before they have arrived at the limitations of expressiveness.
Unhörbare Zeiten (inaudible times) are empty volumes in the music. Durations without sounds define their own entity and develop their architectural presence. One should add nothing to these empty volumes, neither in composition nor while listening. They should remain open, light and serene. I am working with audible and inaudible durations that appear partly simultaneously and partly consecutively. They give the piece lucidity and transparency, as well as materiality and solidity. There are sometimes almost spatial or bodily deci- sions to achieve a balance of the material, of the feeling for the piece, and of the compositional technique, and to create, from an initial idea of something limitless - a music with energy and breath."-Edition Wandelweiser
• Show Bio for Isabelle Bozzini
"Isabelle Bozzini. Born Montréal, Québec, 1969. Performer (cello).
A passionate chamber player, cellist Isabelle Bozzini is dedicated to exploring two parallel worlds - new music of all kinds and music on period instruments. This endeavour continuously challenges her and nourishes her artistic aspirations.
She is a founding member of the Quatuor Bozzini which since its inception in 1999 has become one of Canada's leading string quartets on national and international scenes. Playing close to forty concerts per year, the Bozzinis produce their own concert series in Montréal including the Salon des compositeurs + Composer's Kitchen event. They tour several times per year in Europe, the US and Canada and have launched the label collection qb in the Fall of 2004 in collaboration with DAME. Isabelle Bozzini also works with Kore Ensemble, and various improvising artists such as Malcolm Goldstein, François Houle, Benoît Delbecq, Diane Labrosse and Jean Derome. Having collaborated for many years with Joël Thiffault and the Montréal Baroque Orchestra, Isabelle Bozzini now plays regularly with Ensemble Arion. She also plays with Idées Heureuses, Ensemble Caprice, the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, and French harpsichordist and conductor Hervé Niquet."-Quatuor Bozzini Website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=bozzini_is)
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• Show Bio for Jurg Frey
"Jürg Frey was born in 1953 in Aarau, Switzerland. Following his musical education at the Concervatoire de Musique de Genève, he turned to a career as a clarinetist, but his activities as composer soon came to the foreground. Frey developed his own language as a composer and sound artist with the creation of wide, quiet sound spaces. His work is marked by an elementary non-extravagence of sound, a sensibilty for the qualities of the material, and precision of compositional approach. His compositions sometimes bypass instrumentation and duration altogether and touch on aspects of sound art. He has worked with compositional series, as well as with language and text. Some of these activities appear in small editions or as artist's books as individual items and small editions (Edition Howeg, Zurich; weiss kunstbewegung, Berlin; complice, Berlin). His music and recordings are published by Edition Wandelweiser. Frey has been invited to workshops as visiting composer and for composer portraits at the Universität der Künste Berlin, the Universität Dortmund and several times at Northwestern University and CalArts. Some of the other places his work has developed are the concerts at the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, the Wandelweiser-in-Residence-Veranstaltungen in Vienna, the Ny music concerts in Boras (Sweden), the cooperation with Cologne pianist John McAlpine, the Bozzini Quartet (Montréal), QO-2 (Bruxelles), Die Maulwerker, incidental music, as well as the regular stays in Berlin (where during the last years many of his compositions were premiered). Frey is a member of the Wandelweiser Komponisten Ensemble which has presented concerts for more than 15 years in Europe, North America and Japan. Frey also organizes the concert series moments musicaux aarau as a forum for contemporary music."-Other Minds (http://www.otherminds.org/shtml/Frey.shtml)
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• Show Bio for Stephanie Bozzini
"Stéphanie Bozzini. Born Montréal, Québec, 1974. Performer (viola)
Stéphanie Bozzini is a founding member of the Bozzini Quartet, a new music string quartet which performs regularly in major festivals throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. Her curiosity and interest in a number of musical styles, from historically informed period instrument playing to contemporary improvisation, have led her to become a remarkably versatile musician.
Solo performances include Huddersfield (UK), Ostrava Days Festival (Czech Rep), NY MUSIK (Sweden), and REDCAT CalArts (Los Angeles). She is principal viola with Arion, and plays regularly with other baroque music groups including Tafelmusik, Theatre of Early Music and SMCQ. Stéphanie has been a long-time collaborator with contemporary ensembles Bradyworks and Kore, as well as Ensemble Lunaire (Zürich). Major orchestral engagements include the Tonhalle of Zurich and the Winterthurer Stadtorchester, and chamber orchestras such as I Musici and Les Violons du Roy. Other chamber music projects have led to performances at The Banff Centre for the Arts, the Tonhalle Zurich, and the Festival des Îles du Bic. Stéphanie Bozzini teaches viola at the Music Department, Concordia University in Montréal."-Quatuor Bozzini Website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=bozzini_st)
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• Show Bio for Alissa Cheung
" "... classical music without pretence... " is Alissa Cheung's approach to her multi-faceted career. A native of Edmonton (Alberta) violinist and composer, Ms Alissa Cheung (BSc '07, BMus '09, MM '13), is a tenured member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) since 2010 and will move to Montréal in January 2015 to join the Bozzini Quartet.
She has been involved with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Canada, USA, Europe and Japan. Career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall and Suntory Hall, and solos with the ESO and the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra. Ms Cheung has been featured in Vue Weekly Magazine and Edmonton Sun, and was aired on CBC, CKUA, and WKPN Radio.
An adamant interpreter of new music, Alissa has performed numerous contemporary works and was an Artist in Residence at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival (2011), at the and at the Lucerne Festival Academy (2013).
As a composer, her works have been performed at the Tonus Vivus Festival of New Music (Edmonton), Jordan Hall (Boston), Morse Recital Hall (New Haven, CT), and the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Upcoming projects include a commission by the Arx Duo and the Bass Line Road Ensemble. Ms Cheung studied composition with Hannah Lash (Yale) and Piotr Grella-Mozejko (Edmonton).
In addition to private teaching, Ms Cheung has been Sessional Instructor at King's University College and faculty member of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music. Educational outreach initiatives include being a Teaching Artist with ESO's Adopt-a-Player Program and with the National Arts Centre's Music Alive Program.
Ms Cheung's principal violin teachers were Marian Moody, Ranald Shean, Broderyck Olson (Edmonton), Thomas Williams (McGill), and Ani Kavafian (Yale). Other influential coaches include Malcolm Lowe, Mark Fewer, Rafael Rosenfeld, Kyoko Hashimoto, and members of the former Tokyo, Juilliard and Concord string quartets."-Quatuor Bozzini Website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=cheung_al)
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• Show Bio for Clemens Merkel
"Clemens Merkel's unconventional sound defines a new sensibility in contemporary music, through its intimate purity of tone, its settled understanding of microtonal or unconventional harmonic language, and its unhurried sensitivity. He is well known for innovative interpretations of Bach and John Cage, and is sought after by composers worldwide as an inspiration for new repertoire. His diverse collaborators range from the Wandelweiser collective to Montréal's Musique Actuelle community, and from emerging experimentalists to today's most revered composers.
For over a decade, Merkel's unusual sound has fused with that of the Quatuor Bozzini, considered one of the world's leading string quartets. Together they have mentored an entire generation of creators through the Composer's Kitchen; have released numerous critically acclaimed albums on their collection qb label; undertake multiple tours annually to be featured at festivals worldwide; and maintain a profound impact on the music scene across Canada and Europe in particular. They nourish Montréal audiences with unusual self-produced events that bridge worlds and cross boundaries of style, generation and culture.
Following an early career in Europe, where he contributed to the continent's leading ensembles, Merkel has made Montréal his home since 2000. He supports and advocates for new music in Québec and in Canada, and is regularly sought after as speaker, curator and adviser. His presence is felt in academia as well, through articles written for the Revue Circuit, and through his teaching at Concordia University. He's a passionate chef and lives in Montréal's Portuguese neighborhood together with his wife Isabelle Bozzini and children Félix and Béatrice."-Quatuor Bozzini website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=merkel_cl)
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Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Catalog ID: EWR 1507
Squidco Product Code: 21830
Packaging: Cardstock 3 page foldover
Recorded in Bern, Switzerland in May 11th, 12th and 13th, 2015.
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1. String Quartet No.3 31:59
2. Unhorbare Zeit 35:55