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Galina Ustvolskaya: Trio, Sonata, Duet

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Galina Ustvolskaya: Trio, Sonata, Duet
Galina Ustvolskaya: Trio, Sonata, Duet


Chamber music by Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya is featured on the second ECM disc by Patricia Kopatchinskaja, recently described by Strings magazine as "the most exciting violinist in the world" and winner of the 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year Award.

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.

Kopatchinskaja 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.

Kopatchinskaja's first ECM recording, of concertos by Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian, was described by BBC Music Magazine as "intensely beautiful" while The Strad noted that on this "remarkable, profoundly moving disc" the Moldovan violinist "plays with an intensity that's sometimes frighteningly raw, as if every note comes from deep within her".

Personnel: Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin), Markus Hinterhäuser (piano), Reto Bieri (clarinet)


  1. Name
  2. Sonata for violin and piano (1952)
  3. Trio for clarinet, violin and piano (1949), Espressivo
  4. Dolce
  5. Energico
  6. Duet for violin and piano (1964)
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