The Squid's Ear Magazine


Frey, Jurg / Reinier van Houdt: Lieues d'Ombres (3 CDs) (elsewhere)

Translating to League of Shadows, Swiss composer Jürg Frey's sublime twilight compositions for solo piano are performed by Dutch pianist Reinier van Houdt, presenting seven of Frey's works written from 1984-2018, including one previously unreleased composition, in all 20 movements spread over 3 CDs ranging in time from 1:47 to 40:34, a significant addition to both musician's oeuvres.
 

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Personnel:



Jurg Frey-composer

Reinier van Houdt-piano


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Label: elsewhere
Catalog ID: elsewhere 020-3
Squidco Product Code: 33358

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at The Muziekcentrum van de Omroep, in Hilversum, The Netherlands, on July 16th, 17th and 18th, 2021, by Micha de Kanter.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Swiss composer Jürg Frey and Dutch pianist/composer Reinier van Houdt are reunited on this triple CD, lieues d'ombres, after their successful collaboration on l'air, l'instant - deux pianos, during which the two built a close rapport.

'lieues d'ombres' contains seven of Frey's solo piano works, written from 1984 - 2018, including one previously unreleased work, 'Three Piano Pieces'. All seven pieces were recorded by Micha de Kanter at The Muziekcentrum van de Omroep (MCO) in Hilversum over three days in July 2021, with the presence of the composer. The order of the tracks on the three discs was determined by Frey.

As a pianist with a profound affinity with Frey's music, van Houdt masterfully brings out the nuances hidden in Frey's scores with a delicate, careful touch as light as air, rendering the transparent yet compelling beauty of each piece with an exquisite balance of warmth and clarity.

"It's marvellous, a wonderful reading of the scores that so clearly realizes my intentions. And I feel so strongly how my music is connected with my being. I'm touched by how much I hear, after listening so many times to the recordings, the composer's mind working. It's interesting, because when I write music, I think I'm mainly focused on practical work: time, movement, sound and timbre...

And I discover again and again fascinating things when Reinier is playing: his voicing in the chords is fabulous, and the energies that are so well balanced between "let the sound just go" and "the mind is working". It is a real challenge to bring both together - and to do this in such a quiet and delicate volume makes the interpretation reach a great level and create a unique atmosphere." - Jürg Frey (from an email correspondence during the editing process)

During the recording sessions, van Houdt played these pieces with Frey's drawings in mind, and two of the drawings are featured on the album cover.

"Frey's music is drawn from a particular silence. It has dimensions, borders, depths - architecture. It begins before the music starts and remains after it ends. It seems to come from the air itself.

In Frey's music, presence is coupled with absence. There is surface, but it reveals depths. Brightness is outlined by shadow. Movement is restrained by stillness. Boldness is tempered by humility.

This recording of piano works, mostly from the last fifteen years, couples Frey's distinct sensibility with the equally distinct world of Reinier van Houdt. [...] Van Houdt works with the density of the situation: those "other" things that we hear while playing music, both in the environment and in our heads."-Michael Pisaro-Liu (from the liner notes)



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

"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)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Reinier van Houdt is a composer and pianist from Rotterdam, Netherlands, member of both the Ensemble MAE and the Ives Ensemble. Reinier van Houdt studied piano at the Liszt-Akademie in Budapest & the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He premiered music by ao Robert Ashley, Alvin Curran, Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Francisco López, Charlemagne Palestine, Yannis Kyriakides, Maria de Alvear, Jerry Hunt; he has collaborated with John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Luc Ferrari, Olivier Messiaen and with theatrecompanies like Hotel Modern, Andcompany&Co, Veenfabriek, Leine&Roebana and ZOOGDIER, a musictheatregroup of which he is co-founder. He also one of the driving forces behind ensemble MAE."

-TeamRock.com (http://teamrock.com/artist-directory/r/reinier-van-houdt?id=7zA1l5xc3Y669LbDdaD6dv)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. La Presence, Les Silences 40:34

2. Sam Lazaro Bros 12:14

CD2



1. Lieues d'ombres 19:19

2. Extended Circular Music 9 21:05

3. Three Piano Pieces 1 08:21

4. Three Piano Pieces 2 05:16

5. Three Piano Pieces 3 04:23

CD3



1. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (24) 2:22

2. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (25) 3:34

3. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (26) 2:53

4. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (27) 2:52

5. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (28) 1:39

6. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (29) 4:00

7. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (30) 4:39

8. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (31) 7:41

9. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (32) 2:47

10. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (33) 4:01

11. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes(34) 3:11

12. Les Trefonds Inexplores Des Signes (35) 5:03

13. Pianist, Alone (2) 29:16

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
erstwhile
New in Compositional Music

Search for other titles on the label:
elsewhere.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Frey, Jurg
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Contemporary percussionist Ian Antonio (Wet Ink, Talujon Percussion Ensemble, Zs, Yarn/Wire) performs seven works for percussion by composer Jürg Frey written between 1994 and 2022, joined by members of the Talujon for one piece, though mostly a solo and very personal album for the percussionist who has been influenced by Frey's approach to stillness and harmony.
Frey, Jurg / Keiko Shichijo
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(elsewhere)
Written by Jurg Frey in 2021 and commissioned by Amsterdam-based pianist Keiko Shichijo, this solo work using the unique audio characteristics of the fortepiano was premiered by Shichijo in 2022 at the Concertgebouw Brugge during the SLOW Festival and performed again at November Music 2022, this recording captured at Concertgebouw Brugge in the presence of the composer.
Frey, Jurg / Reinier van Houdt
Lieues d'Ombres (3CDs)
(elsewhere)
Translating to League of Shadows, Swiss composer Jürg Frey's sublime twilight compositions for solo piano are performed by Dutch pianist Reinier van Houdt, presenting seven of Frey's works written from 1984-2018, including one previously unreleased composition, in all 20 movements spread over 3 CDs ranging in time from 1:47 to 40:34, a significant addition to both musician's oeuvres.
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Frey, Jurg / Keiko Shichijo
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(elsewhere)
Written by Jurg Frey in 2021 and commissioned by Amsterdam-based pianist Keiko Shichijo, this solo work using the unique audio characteristics of the fortepiano was premiered by Shichijo in 2022 at the Concertgebouw Brugge during the SLOW Festival and performed again at November Music 2022, this recording captured at Concertgebouw Brugge in the presence of the composer.
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(elsewhere)
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Plan Kruutntoone joins forces with avant-garde pianist Reinier van Houdt for a conceptual narrative blurring improvised music, compositional and rock forms, with a narrative based around Zorro and Rosa, geography (and Spielberg) and Brodski, or in their terms: composed and deranged music and lyrics (and other words) on guitars, basses, drums and a piano.
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Duos
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Two . Too (For Erwin-Josef Speckmann) [2 CDs]
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Jurg Frey on clarinet and Irene Kurka on soprano vocals perform Wandelweiser composer Antoine Beuger's extended composition "Two"; then the duo of Rhodri Davies on harp and Ko Ishikawa on sho are layered on the first recording, creating a refreshingly new take on the piece.
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Antoine Beuger, Burkhard Schlothauer, Chico Mello, Jurg Frey, Kunsu Shim, Michael Pisaro-Liu, and Thomas Stiegler participate in this realization of Christian Wolff's compositions to make sounds or draw sounds out of stones, alone or with other surfaces, acoustically or amplified.
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II
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Two works, one each from trombonist Radu Malfatti and clarinetist Jurg Frey, also credited with "instruments", field recordings and couterpoints; electroacoustic reductionist work of beautiful character that unfolds slowly and rewards attentive listeners in morphing sound.
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