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Carolin Widmann
Simon Lepper
Phantasy of Spring

Carolin Widmann violin
Simon Lepper piano
Morton Feldman
Spring of Chosroes

Bernd Alois Zimmermann
Sonate für Violine und Klavier

Arnold Schönberg
Phantasy for violin with piano accompaniment, op 47

Iannis Xenakis

Recorded October and December 2006

ECM New Series 2113

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While she made her much-lauded ECM debut with a thought-provoking account of Schumann’s violin sonatas last year, German violinist Carolin Widmann’s reputation as a pioneering interpreter of contemporary music is spreading continiously. “The new record brings me back to my roots”, says Widmann. Teaming up with Simon Lepper, one of Britain’s foremost lied accompanists and a particularly fine chamber musician, she now presents a most varied spectrum of 20th century duo literature. “For more than a year we worked on the repertoire selection. We were looking for really strong pieces, both emotionally and with regard to compositional complexity.” By exploring the acoustic and expressive conflicts between the stringed instrument and the well-tempered keyboard, all four masters are preoccupied with unconventional duo constellations. Schoenberg’s late “Phantasy” of 1949 was conceived for solo violin with the highly complex “accompaniment” being added only afterwards, whereas Zimmermann’s vigorous sonata (1950) was later elaobrated into a fully-fledged sonata (which Thomas Zehetmair plays on a Zimmermann disc released last autumn on ECM). Seperated, yet integral monologues mark the two experimental works from the mid-seventies in which dissimilar pacings, gestural and harmonic differences are examined in most fascinating ways. Uncomprominsing and fiery renderings make for adventurous listening experiences throughout.