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News Bits: Mystery Sea, Moritzburg, Skride

img  Tobias

A Cellist presents a new edition of a wonderful festival, which sees well-known performers and great newcomers get together for half a month of great music. One of these newcomers is coincidentally also presenting her new CD while she's at it. But first, let's dive into an ocean of enigmatic sounds over at some Belgian friends:

The Mystery Sea label must surely be one of the little treasures just waiting to be discovered by anyone starting his journey into Drones and soft electronic ambiances. When Daniel Crokaert started out in May 2001, he had nothing but an idea and the will to pursue it - Five years later, his outfit has been dubbed "The ECM" of ghostly ambient sounds" and artists are cuing up to be able to release with him. The honour has now been granted to Japanese artist Hitoshi Kojo, famed not only for his music, but for painting, installation & performance, as well as for his path of honouring traditions while never ceasing to explore the new. "Ananta" is the result of his travels through Europe and his efforts to spiritually connect with the old continent, a single, one-hour piece full of bottomless troughs and endless spaces. Published under his spiracle pseudonym, this is the perfect companion for the last cold days of the winter. Crockaert puts it like this: "Listening to "ananta" is like inhaling a cloud of stars at twilight, drinking up all its creeping flow of energy... breathing like a snake undulating under the dark primal waves... channelling unknown forces..."

Homepage: Mystery Sea

Behind the Moritzburg festival's mask hides Jan Vogler. one of the world's leading Cellists. A long, long time ago, he had a simple but convincing plan: To offer a mix of mainly classical and some thematically linked new pieces performed by outstanding instrumentalists in an inspiring setting. As the festival approaches its fourteenth season, it has gained a reputation for excellence and an air of sympathy, exuded by the warm and welcoming surroundings of the Moritzburg near Dresden. Again, Vogler has pieced together a colourful program, with Mozart, Tchaikovsky Haydn and Mendelssohn Bartholdy taking centre stage and tango champion Piazzolla, a guitar sonata by young Finnish composer Olli Mustonen and a string of works by "composer in residence" Esa-Pekka Salonen acting as a refreshing accompaniment. Besides Vogler himself, there will be a star cast of artists, inlcuding Helene Grimaud, Ewa Kupiec, Martn Stadtfeld (all Piano), Gautier Capucon, Christian Poltera on Cello and Baiba Skride on Violin. It all takes place from August 5th until August 20th, so there's still plenty of time for you to buy tickets and for us to bring you further news.

Homepage: Moritzburg Festival
Homepage: Jan Vogler

Talking about Baiba Skride: The Lativan Violinist not only delivered a jump-start into fame by claiming first prize at the Queen-Elizabeth-Competition in 2001, she was also pushed into the limelight by Sony Classical, who were so charmed by the lady that they published two albums at the same time. Skride spent the last year catching some breath from recording and continued her career where it matters most: On the live scene. Still, we wouldn't want you to go missing out on her latest CD. It features Shostakovich' first Violin Concerto and "The Wandering of a little soul" by Czech sound magician and Wanderer between harmony and dissonance Janacek. Again, Baiba has not gone for the easy repertoire with a program that is firmy rooted in the 20th century, challenging and demandingly eclectic. On the other hand: If you are looking for something a little rougher than the usual Vienese sonority, this is the disc for you! To mark the occasion, Baiba's homepage has been revamped and finally offers the wealth of information she deserves, so it's well worth a look.

Homepage: Baiba Skride
Homepage: Sony BMG Masterworks

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