Martin / Ruggieri / Ex Novo Ensemble - Complete Music With Flute | RECORD STORE DAY

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A unique combination on record of chamber music by the Swiss composer, surveying the development of his voice and career through the medium of the flute. One of music's late starters, Martin grew up as the tenth child of a Swiss pastor and his wife, surrounded by the music of Bach and Mozart. Only once Ernest Ansermet had founded the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande in 1918 did the 28-year-old Martin begin to discover and become captivated by the sensuality of Debussy and Ravel, and this stylistic dichotomy continued to play out in his own music. Among the most polished and individual of his early works is the set of four love-sonnets composed in 1921 to poems by the 16th-century balladeer Pierre de Ronsard. Already the influence of modernism is apparent on the angular and even ascetic shape of Martin's melodic invention, and yet a gentle, atmospheric mood pervades the cycle; this, too, would become a hallmark of his sound-world. In 1939, Martin began what would become a series of instrumental ballades with the competition piece which is still his best-known work for flute. In the same year, he followed it up with a Ballade for alto saxophone which he then arranged for flute; both works are fine examples of Martin's ability to reconcile serialism with tonality. A neoclassical (or rather, neo-Baroque) spirit infuses the Sonata da Chiesa of 1940 with solemn, Protestant gravity, yet the flute part still sings with the lyricism of the early Sonnets. From after the war, the Trois Chants de Noel (1947) distil the mystery of Christmas into three brief settings of texts by the Swiss poet Albert Rudhardt (1894-1944). A trio of Minnelieder (1961) masterfully strips Martin's language to the bone in a distinctive 'late style', where flute and guitar support and punctuate the sung line with an archaically flavoured modernity. Almost all these works have attracted no more than one or two recordings, but gathered together by these expert Italian musicians, they paint a new and compelling portrait of Martin as a spiritually engaged modernist.- Frank Martin (1890-1974) was a Swiss composer, who lived for most of his life in The Netherlands. Hs oeuvre spans orchestral works, oratorios, and chamber music. Martin's style defies easy categorization, blending elements of neoclassicism, serialism, and Gregorian chant. His vocal works reflect his spiritual depth and musical mastery. - Frank Martin wrote a not a large but a significant number of works for flute, including the Ballade for flute and piano (1939), the Deuxieme Ballade for flute and piano (1939) and the Church Sonata for flute and organ (1941). Of these three, only the Ballade is an original work for flute, as the Deuxieme Ballade and the Church Sonata are the author's transcriptions of earlier scores. Also included in this new recording are works for soprano and instrumental ensemble, featuring flute, oboe, harp, viola and cello.- A fascinating collection of a highly original voice in 20th century music! - Played by Daniele Ruggieri, Monica Bacelli and several excellent Italian instrumentalists.