Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Reto Bieri & Boris Yoffe

Berio: Lied (1983); Carter, E: Gra: Eötvös: Dervish dance; Holliger: Contrechant & Rechant; Sciarrino: Let me Die before I Wake; Vajda, G: Lightshadow trembling

Reto Bieri (clarinet)

ECM 4764404

Boris Yoffe: Song of Songs:
I sought him but I found him not My own vineyard I did not keep I sleep, but my heart waketh My head is filled with dew, my locks with drops of the night My soul went forth when he spoke

Rosamunde Quartet & The Hilliard Ensemble

ECM 4764426

Two unique and uniquely satisfying discs from ECM.

Reto Bieri is a quite extraordinary clarinettist, an unshowy virtuoso of "fluency, intimacy and nuanced variety" [Paul Griffiths]. His unaccompanied programme gets to the essence of each composer and actually feels the better for the lack of busy counterpoint (e.g. in the case of Elliott Carter).

And there is no risk of solo clarinet becoming insufficient; Bieri holds attention throughout with his beauty of tone and uncommon expressiveness with multiphonics, which can often feel gimmicky.

A marvellous disc which takes clarinet playing to a new level.

Bois Yoffe's Song of Songs is equally extraordinary, a selection of daily compositions for sring quartet; single pages, several thousands of them in fifteen years, these chosen from those of recent years and interspersed with other 8-part pieces, with the Hilliard voices singing to phrases from the Song of Songs.

A calming and enriching experience, the two CDs together making for unusually satisfying listening and represent ECM at its best.

Both are ideally recorded; Griffiths' notes for Bieri are concise and to the point - his for Yoffe are more poetic than analytic.

Highly recommended to explorer listeners who don't seek just facile excitement.

Peter Grahame Woolf