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CD review: Alene

Bente Illevold (euphonium)
AT-Recordings
Download format only


We have grown accustomed to loneliness; enforced or by choice. 

During the past two years any sense of communal belonging has been provided using technology:  Human connectivity in digitised form. 

Interactions have had little warmth or personality. Uncertainty and a lack of intimacy has in turn brought vulnerability. 

Each day has passed like another; the ingrained rhythms of life replaced by uneven cycles of disquiet and fear. 

Thoughtful

This thoughtful solo release by Norwegian euphonium player Bente Illevold reflects on a period in which time itself has been lost in those different dimensions (Alene means alone in Norwegian) 

Illevold is a distinguished performer, respected for her artistic approach to performance engagement with new and existing repertoire.  Her musical outlook is underpinned by an informed social dimension; the works from Bach, Telemann, Paganini, Elliott Robson, Hobson and Paus, all chosen to invite the listener to be drawn into her personal perspective.

Her musical outlook is underpinned by an informed social dimension; the works from Bach, Telemann, Paganini, Elliott Robson, Hobson and Paus, all chosen to invite the listener to be drawn into her personal perspective.  

Isolation

The performances, played with restrained elegance, are simply recorded on location – just two microphones at each of three venues.  The acoustics accentuate the feeling of isolation. 

This may sound a bleak landscape from which to seek a sense of freedom, but with reflection comes perspective – and in this case an absorbing contemplation. 

Bach, Telemann and Paganini act as somewhat familiar touchstones of emotion, the ‘Dance Suite’ escapements of Elliott Robson and Andrea Hobson’s rondoesque ‘Inspired by Blue’ much less so, but still inducing improvised endorphin triggers in the mind.

Illevold’s own multiphonic ‘Arv’ and the slate-skied ‘Notturno’ by Paus elicit wilderness and empty beauty – almost a plea from the heart to escape from the cloying confinements that have been placed on us all in the past two years.

Iwan Fox


To purchase: https://en.at-recordings.com/

To  find out more: https://www.euphonia.no/

Playlist:
Cello Suite No 2 in D Minor (J.S Bach)
i. Prelude
ii. Allemande
iii. Courante
iv. Sarabande
v. Menuet 1 & 2
vi. Gigue

Excerpt from 12 Fantasies (G.P Telemann)
i. Fantasie in A Minor (originally in B Minor)

Caprice No. 24 for solo violin (Niccolo Paganini)

Dance Suite for Solo Euphonium (Keith Elliott Robson)
i. Tarantella
ii. Valse Melancolique
ii. Czardas
iv. Tango

Inspired by Blue (Andrea Hobson)

Arv (Bente Illevold)

Notturno (Lockdown Lullaby) (Marcus Paus)

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B.Mus (Hons), LTCL, PGCE
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