Achim Fiedler

Dialogue: Baroque - Minimal

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One may seek underlying connections between the works on Dialogue: Baroque-Minimal, particularly in such aspects as the pieces' steady motor rhythms, constant repetition of short motives, vigorous forward propulsion, and general tendency toward "objectivity" that is the affect of both musical styles. In these matters, John Adams' Shaker Loops and Steve Reich's Triple Quartet somewhat resemble J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major and No. 6 in B flat major, and listeners may be inclined to view the resemblances as important linkages. However, a skeptic may just as validly wonder if the balancing of Baroque and minimalist works on this disc is merely a clever programming ploy and find the "dialogue" between periods a convenient excuse to match up accessible repertoire for string orchestra. Achim Fiedler and the Lucerne Festival Strings obviously enjoy matching early and modern works -- note their other albums pairing Bach with Honegger, and Schubert with Webern -- but they play the music of any period with exciting energy, tight precision, exquisite technique, and satisfying balance. One may well find connections between Adams and Reich, and a few similarities between them and Bach; but these are mostly theoretical and arguable, and not essential to appreciation. Oehms' sound quality is exceptional.

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