Portrait album „polyglot“

by Paul Cannon

“polyglot“ is the title Paul Cannon has chosen for his portrait CD, and indeed he assembles solo pieces and chamber music here offering enormous stylistic versatility. Ensemble Modern hereby continues its portrait series, in which Ensemble Modern soloists implement their personal concepts and programme selections. The album was created in cooperation with the WDR and the Abbey Road Institute.

A willingness to be “multilingual” is a necessity for performers of new music: “Modern musicians no longer simply speak one language of music. They must fluently speak every dialect, understanding each accent and idiom,” says Paul Cannon, at 34 the youngest member of Ensemble Modern. The selection offers broad diversity: next to Elliott Carter’s solo piece “Figment III”, it includes small-scale chamber music works by Vito Žuraj, Kaija Saariaho and Ondřej Adámek which Paul Cannon has recorded with Ensemble Modern colleagues and other artists. Bernhard Gander’s “Take Five for Three”, a highly rhythmical piece commissioned especially for the album, combines an electric double bass with two percussionists. In Brian Ferneyhough’s “Christus Resurgens” (from “Umbrations”), Paul Cannon engages in almost “combative” style with the Arditti Quartet. “Transition” is the title of the solo piece which Cannon composed for himself, which actually transitions into new regions. Rebecca Saunders’ “Fury II” for double bass and ensemble, an extension of her solo piece “Fury”, breaks the boundaries of chamber music in its ferocious power and energy. Most of the works on the CD were recorded for the first time.

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