Works For Solo Cello, Per Norgard, Poul Rudersondine
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Cellist Wilhelmina Smith's second album on Ondine continues exploring contemporary Nordic repertoire for solo cello. In her new album Smith has focus on Danish contemporary composers, Per Ngård (b. 1932) and Poul Ruders (b. 1949).
Both Nørgård and Ruders are known for their large-scale orchestral works. Nørgård, in particular, is known for his eight symphonies and has been hailed by many as one of the greatest living symphonists. It is therefore intriguing to look closer to his two very early lyrical solo cello sonatas, early masterpieces written just before completing his 1st Symphony. In 1980, the composer revised his second sonata by adding an extensive second movement, almost an entirely new sonata, to the existing work. Nørgård's 3rd sonata "What – Is the Word!" from 1999 is a short "Sonata breve" that takes its title from a quote by Irish playwriter Samuel Beckett.
Wilhelmina Smith's gentle, compulsively flowing and technically careful playing, brings out the expressive power of Norgard and Ruders / yle
yle's Kare Eskola.writes.....The popularity of contemporary Danish composers has been on the rise recently, and no wonder. Per Nörgård and the guys composed their avant-garde colorful and dynamic even when others were still teasing the audience with gray seriality. But can the virtues of the Danes come to the fore even when played with a single cello? Based on the record label Ondinen and ...
Wilhelmina Smith's lustrous sonority, wide dynamic range, and impeccable control bring forth Per Norgard and Poul Ruders color and drama / ClassicsToday
ClassicsToday Jed Distler writes.....Per Nørgård composed his first solo cello sonata between the ages of 19 and 21. His seriousness, sensitivity, and strong personality were clearly present early on. The first movement's brooding lyricism never turns on itself, while the microtonal gestures are expressively discreet and anything but gimmicky. The Allegro con brio finale is like a fragmented...
Salt Bay Chamberfest artistic director Wilhelmina Smith and cinematographer Joseph Zizzo set the coast to music / Freepress Online
Salt Bay Chamberfest Artistic Director Wilhelmina Smith and cinematographer Joseph Zizzo have created four videos that pair solo music with midcoast Maine vistas and are available at no cost. The series, titled "Harmony on Land and Sea: Finding Music in an Exalted Maine Landscape," features music inspired by the Maine coast. The first video, set on Round Pond Harbor, is available now at saltbaychambe...
Salonen sandwich with Yo-Yo Ma & Wilhemina Smith / beyondcriticism
On Wilhemina Smith - Works for Solo Cello (Ondine 2018) featuring Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sarabande per un coyote, Giuseppe Colombi – Chiacona, Kaija Saariaho – Dreaming Chaconne, the Columbi selection is the real if routine baroque McCoy. Salonen's "Wile E." riff on a related genre, full of "wrong" notes and snapping pizzicati, struck these ears as kind of awful, but I loved Saariaho's un...
Wilhelmina Smith provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about Esa-Pekka Salonen's approach to chamber music / The Rehearsal Studio
This past March Ondine released an album of works for solo cello performed by Wilhelmina Smith. Ondine is based in Helsinki, but Smith is one of the crop of rising American talents. It should therefore be no surprise that the repertoire she prepared for this release was divided between Finnish composers Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kaija Saariaho. Those who follow this site regularly probably know by now t...
Wilhelmina Smith delivers a mesmerising performance in 'Salonen and Saariaho - Works for Solo Cello' / theStrad
Both these composers seem focused on widening the orbit of virtuosity for solo cello but without losing sight of the necessity to communicate vividly to the listener. Esa-Pekka Salonen maintains a loose leverage on tonal centres, grabbing virtuosity by the throat and challenging the performer to go to the very limits of her technique. The force of his musical invention is compelling and the gestures whir...
GRAMOPHONE reviews Salonen - Works for Cello by Wilhelmina Smith & Yo-Yo Ma
Wilhelmina Smith's recording underlines one of the fundamental differences between these two composers born in Finland just six years apart. Salonen's music has long prioritised clarity even when it's not the stated aim (and, in one of these works, it is). Saariaho tends to drill down into an idea to the point of shattering it (not always intentionally). To some degree both write ‘traditional' Finn...
Ondine releases; Wilhelmina Smith - Works for Solo Cello by Salonen and Saariaho / The Violin Channel
Ondine Records has this month announced the release of American cellist Wilhelmina Smith‘s new CD: Esa-Pekka Salonen & Kaija Saariaho: Works for Solo Cello. The disc features Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen‘s (b. 1958) Yta III for Cello, Knock, Breathe, Shine and Sarabande per un coyote, Giuseppe Colombi‘s ‘Ciaccona a basso solo‘ – and Kaija Saariaho‘s (b....