patricia kopatchinskaja, music by Ustvolskaya


Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin
Markus Hinterhäuser, piano
Reto Bieri, clarinet

LABEL: ECM New Series 2329
Release: 12 September 2014; 30 September 2014 (USA)

ECM music player


The unique expressiveness of the work of Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006) speaks to the listener with directness and nuanced layers of sound, the powerful, rhythmic stringency of the music testifying to the relentlessness of her vision. Fiercely independent, Ustvolskaya maintained that her music sounded like the work of no other composer, living or dead, and put herself outside all stylistic “schools”. Her work, said Viktor Suslin, has the “narrowness of a laser beam capable of piercing metal. Its sense of concentration is sometimes ferocious. Entering this sound-world calls for a special kind of commitment and intensity.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja (recently described by Strings magazine as “the most exciting violinist in the world”) and Markus Hinterhäuser play the Sonata (1952) and the Duet (1964) for violin and piano, and together with Reto Bieri, the Trio (1949) for clarinet, violin and piano, all recorded in the acoustically superb studio in Lugano which has become one of ECM’s primary locations.


Gramophone, December 2014

“The belated recognition of Galina Ustvolskaya as a figure of importance tailed off once the limited extent of her acknowledged output (anything of even obliquely Socialist Realist nature rigorously excluded) had been covered on disc. Yet there was certainly a need for one that featured all three of her works for violin and piano. Kopatchinskaja – the most combative female violinist of her generation – proves the ideal exponent.”
READ the review


Salzburger Nachrichten, 12 November 2014

“Patricia Kopatchinskaja und Markus Hinterhäuser präsentieren ein exemplarisches Album.”
“Die atemberaubende Variabilität des Geigentons und der Spieltechniken von Kopatchinskaja, von schier körperlosen Haltetönen in fast unhörbaren Regionen des Pianissimo über fahlen, gespenstischen Schimmer zu robuster Kontur und schmerzhafter Attacke, gibt dem Verlauf der Komposition derart bildhaften, plastischen Ausdruck, dass man alle Aggregatzustände des Gefühls wie in den eigenen Körper übertragen fühlt.”


ZEIT, November 2014

“While composing, Ustvolskaja once said, she seems to be situated in a state of mercy. Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Markus Hinterhäuser manage to capture this state in its spiritual sensuousness and never to reveal it to anybody or anything now in a grand and brave, ruthless way.”
READ the review (in German)