Red Velvet – A Celebration of Love
About half a year ago, we decided that to celebrate being married to each other for a year, we would give each other the gift of an album recording.
Red Velvet, therefore, is a celebration of love. But more than just a celebration of love between husband and wife; a celebration of love between members of a family, a love for a certain place on earth; a love for the abstract divine…
Love, like music, is something poetical, and therefore best expressed through poetry. Some of the pieces on this album were inspired by poetry, other pieces seemed to have a deep connection with pre-existing pieces of poetry. Reading through the booklet of the physical CD while listening to the music, reads like a collection of assorted poems in many languages, from many different cultures, displaying many different sides of love.
The album title was named after the one piece interconnecting all others. Red Velvet, written by Iranian composer Kaveh Vares, was brought to life specially for Maya and her cello. After the premiere of the piece during Maya’s concert at the old Synagogue room of MerkAz, the whole album fell into place. Written about the atrocities in the Middle-East, with its beastly chaos, screams of victims of a war with no winning side, ultimately expressed by an almost inaudibly silent ending, Red Velvet seemed to be the perfect ending to an album that displays the infinitely many sides of love.
After Red Velvet, the album is ultimately concluded by Alisa Apreleva’s Silentium. Seven years ago, Maya heard this piece being performed by Apreleva herself, inspiring her to also combine the voice of her cello with her own voice. Silentium, however, is not the only piece in which she sings while playing the cello. Louis Andriessen’s La Voce, was specifically written for not just the cello itself, but the cellist. Intertwining the sound of Maya’s voice with her cello, the human-like voice of the cello and her singing truly become one cluster of sound.
Recording-wise, I wanted to try a different approach for this album. Instead of sitting behind a pane of glass or a thick wall, with only a talkback microphone connecting us, I wanted to get up close and personal with the artist. Sitting at just seven meters away in the old Synagogue room, the recording sessions that went into this album were some of the most personal events of my recording career. Both as the artist, as well as the recording engineer, you lay yourself bare to one another, unable to hide any of the emotions that go into such recordings.
In many ways, this album was a first for both Maya as a cellist and myself as a recording engineer. But it was love; the love for each other, and most of all, the love for music and the art of recording, that turned Red Velvet into what Red Velvet is today. We hope you enjoy the album, and will celebrate this love with us on this special day.
Maya Fridman & Brendon Heinst
Total time: 00:59:42
Dutch & Dutch
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|Release Date||July 28, 2017|
Beter Beeld & Geluid (English)
The latest album by master cellist Maya Fridman is the 11th release on the audiophile TRPTK label. On Red Velvet she mainly plays solo works by various modern composers. Maya Fridman received her cum laude ‘Master’s Degree’ from the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2016 and plays with unprecedented eloquence and bold originality.
The album is classifiable as ‘modern classic’, but this never completely covers the charge, because Maya, as usual, completely captures the compositions and crosses all genre boundaries. The album opens with ‘The Song of Songs’; an electronic drone that is slowly complemented by the melancholy cello sounds of Maya. I hear the soul of Shostakovich in a modern way. Compelling and mysterious …
The beautiful composition ‘Danseur de Corde’ by César Lüttger was performed solo by Maya Fridman for the first time during the ‘Composers’ Festival 2016′ in Amsterdam and now recorded for the first time.
The three-part Suite by Gaspar Cassadó is the most accessible piece on the album, with clear Spanish / Catalan influences and in the first part a short piece of theme of Ravel’s ‘Daphnis et Chloé’ (I think I hear).
The tango-like ‘Omaramor’ by the Argentinian Osvaldo Golijov is a cello composition full of longing and passion and is also played in such a way. There is a certain melancholy from Argentine music that seems unique to this country.
The Louis Andriessen composition ‘La Voce’ is an absolute highlight as far as I’m concerned: Italian spoken word and song by Maya combine here with virtuoso pizzato play and exciting partly atonal double grips.
The title piece ‘Red Velvet’ is a complex composition of the Persian Kaveh Vares that completely overwhelms the listener and leaves you baffled … With thick layers of goose bumps …
Closer ‘Silentium’ is performed by a trio of cellos and again the (otherwise very beautiful) voice of Maya. She sings here in her Russian mother tongue. A beautiful emotional conclusion of a very enthusiastic but certainly not easy to digest album, which, however, is worth 100% of the attention of the attentive listener.
As usual with TRPTK, ‘Red Velvet’ is also recorded with minimal effects, using the best possible microphones and in DXD format. The beautiful acoustics of the ‘MerkAz’ building in Utrecht creates a subtle natural reverberation that never interferes with the complex music, but complements it beautifully. The recording perspective is chosen in such a way that it looks like you are literally a meter or two away from the cello. The tonality, dynamics and transparency of the recording are simply perfect. Every nuance can be followed and ensures that the already fascinating music with a maximum emotional impact arrives at the listener. Compliments again for producer / engineer Brendon Heinst! It’s another jewel in the TRPTK catalog!
There are multiple formats on which ‘Red Velvet’ has been released. But in my opinion you come even closer to the original recording with one of the high resolution downloads which brings you more space, focus and ‘authenticity’.
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