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Contrechant - Music for Solo Clarinet

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Contrechant - Music for Solo Clarinet
Contrechant - Music for Solo Clarinet


The highly gifted Swiss clarinetist Reto Bieri makes his ECM New Series debut with 'Contrechant', a brilliant recital for solo clarinet that looks at new developmental possibilities in the 'language' of the instrument in modern music. A wonderful panorama of contemporary music for clarinet by giants of new music - Elliott Carter (the grand old man of US music who celebrates his 103rd birthday in December), Heinz Holliger, Luciano Berio, Peter Eötvös and Salvatore Sciarrino plus an intriguing work by much discussed young Hungarian composer Gergely Vajda.

Beautifully recorded with producer Manfred Eicher in St Gerold, the works chosen by Bieri for this enterprising programme are Berio's Lied (1983); Holliger's Contrechant (2007) and Rechant from the following year; Let me die before I wake (1982) by Salvatore Sciarrino; Carter's Gra (1993); Eötvös's Derwischtanz (1993/2001); and Lightshadow-trembling, a piece composed by Gergely Vajda in1993. Bieri worked closely with composers Carter, Holliger, Eötvös, Sciarrino and Vajda toward the optimum realization of the pieces heard here. Collectively the works address the new language of the contemporary clarinet.

Reto Bieri was born in Zug, Switzerland, in 1975, and grew up listening to Swiss folk music before discovering the world of classical music. He studied the clarinet in Basel and at the Juilliard School in New York, and his musical development was also strongly influenced by chamber music lessons from composer György Kurtag and pianist Krystian Zimerman.

In 2001 Bieri won the UNESCO-sponsored International Rostrum for Young Performers award, and since then has been invited to play all over the world, as soloist and chamber musician. His musical partners include violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist Sol Gabetta, and he's performed chamber music with Gidon Kremer, Heinz Holliger, Dénes Varjon, Gautier Capuçon, Raphael Oleg, Carolin Widmann, Gérard Wyss, the Carmina, Casals and Petersen Quartets, and the Altenberg Trio. He has also collaborated with the Rosamunde Quartet, and projects in preparation include performances of Tigran Mansurian's Double Concerto for Clarinet and Violoncello with ex-Rosamunde cellist Anja Lechner.

Personnel: Reto Bieri (clarinet)


  1. Name
  2. Luciano Berio: Lied (1983)
  3. Heinz Holliger: Contrechant (2007) I
  4. II
  5. III
  6. IV
  7. V
  8. Epilog
  9. Salvatore Sciarrino: Let me die before I wake (1982)
  10. Elliott Carter: Gra (1993)
  11. Heinz Holliger: Rechant (2008)
  12. Péter Eotvos: Derwischtanz (1993/2001)
  13. Gergely Vajda: Ligthshadow-trembling (1993)
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