Mari Samuelsen – Mari (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:46:14 minutes | 2,08 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)
Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen’s debut for the Yellow Label is entitled simply MARI and is set for international release on May 31 via Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Recorded with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and conductor Jonathan Stockhammer, the album explores the contradictions of contemporary life – the fact that, despite the excitement of city life and the convenience of instant communication and express travel, many of us still feel a need to ground ourselves in the peace and quiet of the natural world. Mari herself was born in rural Norway and goes back to the family farm as often as her schedule allows. She was keen, therefore, to choose a selection of music echoing the conflicting pulls on our time and energy.
At the emotional heart of the album is Bach’s Chaconne in D minor, whose serenity Samuelsen has chosen to counter with the nervous agitation of “Knee Play 2” from Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach. The rest of the programme of her DG debut grew organically from the seeds of Bach and Glass, tracing themes of change and renewal, from the increasingly complex variations of the Chaconne to the expansive melodic development of Clark’s Mammal Step Sequence. The album also combines familiar repertoire with brand-new pieces from some of today’s leading composers and musicians.
Mari tested different combinations of compositions, carefully considering the ways in which they related to one another and to the whole. The finished recording contains pieces as diverse as Vladimir Martynov’s The Beatitudes, Peter Gregson’s Sequence (Four), arrangements of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Heptapod B and Brian Eno’s song “By this River”, and Pēteris Vasks’ Vientulais Engelis (“Lonely Angel”). The mix also includes four works by Max Richter, with whom she collaborates on a regular basis, including “Vocal”, for solo violin, and the wonderfully hypnotic “November”.
As MARI reveals, Mari is an artist with a fresh and intelligent vision of the world. She respects the masterpieces of the past but is fearlessly adventurous when it comes to new repertoire and innovative musical partnerships. An advocate of creative communication and attentive listening, she understands that we all yearn for moments of quiet contemplation. “The need to go into a room and just listen to sound – almost like sound therapy – is bigger than ever,” she observes. “People are hungry for it, and I wanted to use my creativity to collaborate and experiment with some of the great people living today. Slowing down, and people leaving their busy lives behind, is only going to become more important, so there will be more room for this type of collaboration, and this type of music, in the years to come.”
1 “Come In!”: 2nd mvt.
2 Dona Nobis Pacem 2
3 Einstein on the Beach: Knee Play 2
4 Vientulais Engelis: Meditation for Violin and String Orchestra
5 Emerald and Stone (Arr. Knoth)
7 Heptapod B (Arr. Knoth)
8 nvention No. 13 in A Minor, BWV 784 (Arr. Badzura)
9 Violin Concerto, 2nd mvt. (Arr. Gelgotas)
11 Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: 5. Chaconne – Pt. 1
12 Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: 5. Chaconne – Pt. 2
13 Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: 5. Chaconne – Pt. 3
14 The Well-Tempered Clavier: Book 1, BWV 846-869: Prelude in D Major, BWV 850 (Arr. Badzura)
16 Sequence (Four) for Solo Violin and String Orchestra divisi
17 The Beatitudes
18 By This River (Arr. Badzura)
19 Sonata for Violin Solo No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001: 4. Presto
20 Mammal Step Sequence
21 Good Night, Day
Mari Samuelsen, violin
Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor