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  • Thomas Larcher (b. 1963): The Living Mountain:
  • 1Larcher: The Living Mountain: I. Introduzione00:28
  • 2Larcher: The Living Mountain: II. At first, mad to recover the tang of height02:22
  • 3Larcher: The Living Mountain: III. As I reach the highest part of my dark moor02:14
  • 4Larcher: The Living Mountain: IV. In September dawns I hardly breathe02:59
  • 5Larcher: The Living Mountain: V. Once on a night of such clear silence03:58
  • 6Larcher: The Living Mountain: VI. Further up is all snow02:37
  • Ouroboros:
  • 7Larcher: Ouroboros: I. Allegretto09:24
  • 8Larcher: Ouroboros: II. Allegro infuriato02:49
  • 9Larcher: Ouroboros: III. Adagio ma non troppo06:22
  • Unerzählt:
  • 10Larcher: Unerzählt: I. Plinius sagt01:50
  • 11Larcher: Unerzählt: II. Die roten Flecken02:30
  • 12Larcher: Unerzählt: III. Wenn die Blitze herabfuhren02:25
  • 13Larcher: Unerzählt: IV. Gleich einem Hund01:04
  • 14Larcher: Unerzählt: V. Am 8. Mai 192702:56
  • 15Larcher: Unerzählt: VI. Mitten im Schlaf01:12
  • 16Larcher: Unerzählt: VII. Venezianisches Wachspräparat01:00
  • 17Larcher: Unerzählt: VIII. Es heißt daß Napoleon02:10
  • 18Larcher: Unerzählt: IX. Aus dem Vorderschiff des Gehirns01:25
  • 19Larcher: Unerzählt: X. Blaues Gras00:52
  • 20Larcher: Unerzählt: XI. Zuletzt werden bloß soviel überbleiben03:49
  • 21Larcher: Unerzählt: XII. So glitt ich lautlos01:05
  • 22Larcher: Unerzählt: XIII. So wird wenn der Sehnerv zerreißt01:34
  • Total Runtime57:05

Info for Thomas Larcher: The Living Mountain

Austrian composer Thomas Larcher’s new album features premiere recordings of three strongly contrasting works.

The Living Mountain, composed 2019-20, draws inspiration from Scottish poet and nature writer Nan Shepherd’s book of the same name. Having grown up in Tyrol and familiar with mountain landscapes, Larcher was taken by Shepherd’s unique approach to the topic in her memoir, and “how completely different it is from all the other literature touching upon this subject. There’s a particularly palpable connection between her introspection and the nature that surrounds her, the microscopic details that are elaborated in that context. Being able to identify with her writing as much as I did, reading the book turned into my own introspective journey and immediately sparked the musical connotations that I elaborate in my piece”.

In the piece, motifs are bound to thunderous percussive crescendos and insistent note repetitions that frame the powerful and evocative vocal performance of Sarah Aristidou. Besides the relation to Nan Shepherd’s text, Larcher’s piece also draws from a series of photographs by Dutch photographer Awoiska van der Molen – landscape pictures taken in the mountains of Tyrol that were first published alongside the premiere of Larcher’s piece in 2022. Van der Molen and the composer felt a deep affinity with each other’s work from the start – work “characterized by the slowness of analogue composing and photography as well as constraint through erasing and concealing of content.”

The act of concealment, of leaving things unsaid, is the keyword of Larcher’s setting of German author W.G. Sebald’s Unerzählt (composed 2019-20). A song cycle performed by baritone Andrè Schuen and pianist Daniel Heide, Unerzählt is composed of thirteen sparsely designed miniatures that underscore Schuen’s expressive range. Unerzählt presents its miniatures in a very pure and concentrated way, with their enigmatic appeal leaving much freedom for interpretation.

On Ouroboros, an instrumental work in three movements for violoncello and orchestra, cellist Alisa Weilerstein draws compelling lines against the backdrop of the Munich Chamber Orchestra’s cluster harmonies and the pointillist accompaniment of pianist Aaron Pilsan. The second movement, Allegro infuriato, true to its tempo indication, is a storm of sonic fury.

Sarah Aristidou, soprano
Alisa Weilerstein, violoncello
Aaron Pilsan, piano
Luka Juhart, accordion
Andrè Schuen, baritone
Daniel Heide, piano
Münchener Kammerorchester
Clemens Schuldt, conductor

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