This album pays tribute to the goddess of the night sky, Nuit, depicted on the Stele of Revealing as a woman bending over the earth with a body completely covered in stars.
In August 2020 the adventurous cellist Maya Fridman met pianist and conductor Maarten van Veen, with whom she felt an immediate musical click. Van Veen is a conductor with the Doelen Ensemble and known for duo piano playing with his brother Jeroen van Veen and Ralph van Raat. With the latter he recently recorded the latest works of John Adams.
Something magical happened between Fridman and Van Veen and both felt simultaneously that something unique was developing between them. They had deep conversations and came up with the extraordinary idea of recording a completely improvised recital with ‘Nuit’, the Ancient Egyptian goddess of the universe, as the central theme. One of Van Veen’s passions is to look at the starry sky at night with his telescope, something he also managed to make Fridman enthusiastic about. A great experience, which would become the starting point for an exceptionally inspired musical duet, in which both musicians search for and ultimately find each other in their deepest essence.
Maya Fridman – Cello
Maarten van Veen – Piano
Total time: 00:50:39
|Analog to Digital Conversion||
Hapi & Anubis, Merging Technologies with Grimm Audio CC2 master clock at DXD (352.8 kHz)
Furutech custom microphone, loudspeaker & power, cables and interlinks and Grimm Audio TPR8 breakout cables
This production was made with the cooperation of the Doelen Ensemble
Brendon Heinst (DXD), Tom Caulfield (DXD to DSD Transfers)
DPA d:dicate 4006A, DPA d:dicate 4015A, Singular Audio f-48
KEF Blade Two, KEF LS50 Meta, Hegel H30, Hegel C55
|Original Recording Format|
Westvest90 in Schiedam, Netherlands on July 25, 2021
JCAT Optimo 3 Duo, JCAT M12 Switch Gold, JCAT NET Card XE, Computer Audio Design GC3, Furutech NCF Boosters
|Release Date||May 20, 2022|
One of the great strengths of this album lies in the many quiet moments of communion between cellist and pianist where in hushed tones they explore the possibilities of the encounters between them. Throughout there is a directness of communication, between performers and to us the audience, that cuts through issues of modernity. I very much hope that those who normally turn away from contemporary music give this a try even if only on a streaming platform. I will be very surprised if anyone sampling it will fail to buy. This is heartfelt, tender, hypnotic music. Try section XIX which is as wrenching as anything in Shostakovich. Fridman and van Veen don’t do anything in half measures on this record.
Can you like a work of music without understanding it? Indeed, yes. I don’t claim to yet understand what Maya Fridman and Maarten van Veen have created in Nuït, their new release from TRPTK. But I do like it, and I plan to continue listening to come to grips with it. It is a wonderful experience of primal cacophony resolving into nuance, delicacy and beauty, yet undeniable strength.
Much of the listening experience is the exploration of sounds and moods. Our performers push the capabilities of their instruments to explore resonances, contrasts, subtleties, and extremes. Each speaks and responds, blends and contrasts, challenges and submits. It is all a wonderful dialog and exploration.
When Maya blends her lovely voice into the repeating refrains in XXXI (the ninth track), we experience a moment of rare beauty and peace. The final movement, XVIII, begins in silence. Then, at about 0:26, there is the very quiet plucked note of the cello, followed quietly by a note, then two, very low on the piano. This is almost inaudible, so listen carefully. Gradually the volume of the cello and the piano builds with each passing note. All seems almost plaintive, certainly meditative, with yearning long bowing strokes on the cello before all fades to silence and the work concludes.
The virtuosity and creativity of the performers makes this all work.
I am enchanted.
Improvisation was once commonplace in classical music, but in the course of the nineteenth century, when composers increasingly felt the need to record everything that had to be played, it became increasingly rare.
In the classical world, making music eventually became pure reading music. When composers wrote in their scores that something had to be improvised in certain places, you could create the discomfort of the faces during rehearsals.
In that sense, the meeting of pianist Maarten van Veen and cellist Maya Fridman was something special. They planned to play through a list of contemporary pieces, but something else happened. When they discovered that they both liked to improvise, they put the scores aside and started playing something that came into being in the moment. They were so surprised by the result that they changed their plan. They would make an album based on improvisations.
Fridman offered the idea of Nuit, the goddess of the starry night, ruler of infinity, and thus a fifty-minute piece was created, composed of several spontaneous musical dialogues, trimmed at the end of the meetings and arranged in a dramaturgically satisfying order. were placed.
The result is wonderful. Van Veen and Fridman sense each other telepathically.
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