Jellantsje de Vries & Bobby Mitchell

Kraakhelder



Jellantsje de Vries may be considered as one of the most versatile violinists of her generation. On ‘Kraakhelder’ she starts with an improvisation on the Hardanger violin, based on the Norwegian folk melody ‘Rotnheims-Knut’. This type of violin, with a number of open strings that are not being played, reflects the program on this CD: as clear as glass. De Vries’s album features a very colourful collection of unheard music. The pioneering American composer Ruth Crawford Seeger wrote a rough sonata for violin and piano with brutal harmonies and wild polyrhythms. Klaas de Vries’s ‘Terug…opnieuw beginnen’ refers with extremely refined composition techniques to the primal sound of the Hardanger violin. Carl Nielsen’s ‘Preludio e Presto for Violin’ was considered virtually unplayable at the time, but its energetic notes have a purity strongly reminiscent of Rotnheims-Knut, as if it were an abstract folk dance. As a silent anti-statement, ‘Kraakhelder’ closes with John Cage’s ‘Nocturne for Violin and Piano’: a crystal sound palette with an unearthly beautiful melody.

A shining album, exceptionally virtuoso in technique, ensemble playing (with the unsurpassed Bobby Mitchell) and in terms of imagination.

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