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Hyperion Records

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Le Palais da Mula (1908) by Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Private Collection / Photo © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67948
Recording details: December 2011
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by John Fraser
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: October 2012
Total duration: 17 minutes 19 seconds

'This blissfully unhackneyed and brilliantly executed recital … the performance's sheer panache is as persuasive as the tonal refinement preceding it, and the recording throughout gives the players all the space and atmosphere they need to characterise the varied moods and textures of an unusually rewarding programme' (Gramophone)

'Something very special. Their choice of repertory here—devised as an extended upbeat to Adès's Lieux retrouvés at the end of the programme—is unusual, memorable, and wonderfully performed from start to finish' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Lieux retrouvés is some of the most enjoyable and readily accessible contemporary music you're likely to encounter … this music, like everything else on this recording, is brilliantly played by Isserlis and Adès. Unreservedly recommended' (International Record Review)

'Isserlis's brilliant recital disc with Adès makes an admirably integrated whole. The Proustianly titled Lieux retrouvés, which Adès wrote for the cellist and himself, is, in effect, a four-movement sonata whose figuration and part-writing knock at the door of the complex to seek the visionary. Isserlis is furiously lyrical and concentrated here, but no less so in the other works, which offer aptly Romantic-modern context for Adès's inspiration. Fauré's beautiful Second Sonata is dispatched not merely with superb elan, but with almost desperate intensity from both players' (The Sunday Times)

'Isserlis plays with almost tangible intensity and soul, while Adès finds charm and natural expression at every turn—a true musical dialogue' (Financial Times)

'There is an engaging emotional path running through, from the nostalgic resignation of late Liszt—three stark but lyrical transcriptions—to Adès' stirring title piece … the two men secure what Adès describes as the inner illumination and rapture of Fauré's 1921 Second Sonata, investing its Finale with the sinew and thrust of a younger Ravel' (The New Zealand Herald)

Lieux retrouvés
composer
2009

Les eaux  [4'34]
La montagne  [4'28]
Les champs  [4'18]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Lieux retrouvés—what can one say about this extraordinary work? Not only can Adès’s work as a whole not be categorized, even this piece cannot be pigeon-holed in any way. He takes influences from everywhere—from Liszt, Janácek, Fauré and Kurtág, from Offenbach, from jazz, from the French baroque, even from minimalism—and creates his own individual language within this one composition. The opening depicts the calm of still water—water that then muddies and swirls before again relaxing and expanding into a crashing wave. The second movement portrays mountaineers as well as mountains, their footsteps crunching on the paths. The movement functions as a scherzo, with a trio section representing particularly hardy climbers, yodelling as they trudge. I was a bit worried by the dramatic end of this movement, concerned that a mountaineer had fallen off the mountain; but I was reassured to learn that it represented merely the defiant planting of a flag. The slow movement takes us to a peaceful field at night, the animals at rest, their breath rising to heaven (rather riskily represented by the highest notes I’ve ever had to play lyrically). The finale is best described by its subtitle, ‘Cancan macabre’; all brilliant lights, flirtatious naughtiness and grotesque over-excitement. ‘A romp’, as the composer innocently described it before he dared send me the music …

from notes by Steven Isserlis © 2012

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