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Labour of Love

img  Tobias

Some albums are hard to connect to, no matter how interesting their concept may be. “A Due” by Clarinetist Kari Kriikku and Cellist Anssi Karttunen is such a case. “A Due” is a collection of pieces written especially for this extremely unusual instrumental combination. Accordingly, these are all special commissions, most of which were first  performed at a concert in Warsaw in the year 1990 – which will go down in history books if the clarinet/cello constellation turns out to become immensely popular some day (don't count on it for the next 100 years or so, though). There's a whole lot to be said for this CD, published by Ondine in a quasi-visionary move (and as part of their long-term commitment to new music). Next to the daring nature of the duo, the album also acts as a concise summary of Finnish composition in the 20th century, including work by Erik Bergman and Paavo Heininen. It's a fascinating listen at times, but one which requires utmost concentration and sometimes has an uneasy avantgarde touch to it. I'm strangely torn apart between dedication and rejection here – two strong sentiments, admittedly. If anyone knows of a similar experience, feel free to share.

By Tobias Fischer

 

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