It was a journey that gave us a lot of hope and joy, and we hope to share these powerful emotions with you through these three beautiful works by Martinu, Rota and Mendelssohn.
The nine-member Intercontinental Ensemble consists of four strings and five winds. Their young members come from different countries and continents: Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In addition to playing original nonet repertoire, the musicians focus on their own arrangements of well-known classical pieces.
In 2018, they released their debut album Traveling Light on the enterprising TRPTK label, featuring arrangements of Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. The production was met with more than enthusiastic response. “I already wrote about the sublime artistic level, because that’s what the Intercontinental Ensemble (….) has to offer. Of course, symphony orchestras play this music with the proverbial two fingers in their noses, but reduced to this pure form of chamber music, the cards are definitely different: every individual nuance, every accent counts, just as phrasing and dynamics require extreme precision in order to achieve what is ultimately at stake in this case: extreme artistically designed transparency.” (Aart van der Wal in Opus Klassiek)
Now there is a strong follow-up with iconic nonets by Rota and and Martinu and an arrangement of Mendelssohn’s Italian symphony under the motto In Motu (in motion). “We rehearsed vigorously during the quiet period of the Corona pandemic and wanted to bring something optimistic. Hence the choice of this cheerful repertoire. Moreover, we felt that the time was now ripe to add some contemporary nonets to the repertoire,” says artistic director and violinist Ernst Spyckerelle.
The album starts with the evocative music of Rota, known primarily as a film composer. What is special is that this time he does not have to bend to a director and can go his artistic way unhindered. Martinu’s nonet is a musical love letter to his native Czech Republic, which he had to leave at a young age and to which he can no longer return. Mendelssohn’s famous Fourth Symphony, as is well known, forms a nostalgic account of his Italian journey.
Remarkably, In Motu is the prelude to a subsequent album to be released in the fall, featuring repertoire by female artiste through the ages: with illustrious names such as Louise Farrenc and Clara Schumann and attention to the new generation: Bianca Bongers, Sarah Neutkens and Aregnaz Martirosyan. Few ensembles make such a varied and surprising musical journey as the ever-moving Intercontinental Ensemble.
|Classical – Classical (1750-1830)
Classical – Contemporary (> 1920)
|Westvestkerk, Schiedam (NL)
December 8th, 2023