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Wednesday
Jun052019

MARI SAMUELSEN - MARI

"Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen’s debut for the Yellow Label is entitled simply MARI, and is set for international release on 7 June 2019. 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 PÄ“teris 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." - Deutsche Grammophone

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