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On first hearing Lou Harrison's violin concerto, Madeleine Mitchell was entranced by the colourful array of percussion and its juxaposition with the violin's innate lyricism. Indeed, this description could fit almost all the works featured on this lively, multi-rhythmic disc. Both strings and percussion blend in a unique mix of styles from early Andalucian music to a Stravinsky inspired piece, Fragments from a Gradual Process. Complex rhythms from the Ensemble Bash who use rhythms of West African drumming as the core of their playing, combined with Madeleine's interweaving lines often catch the listener in a moment of surprise.
Whilst it is a November release, it's worth noting that Madeleine Mitchell and ensemblebash will be at The Red Violin festival in Cardiff from 1st to 8th October and performing this repertoire.
“…the high level of Harrison's unfaltering invention would be superhuman if it weren't so understated. Madeleine Mitchell lets Harrison's material speak for itself, taking a noticeably objective view, and it's a winning strategy.”
“…enthusiastic performances with immaculate sonics: brilliant stuff.”
“Fiddlesticks is a collaboration between two of Britain's most liveliest musical forces. One is the indefatigably adventurous violinist Madeleine Mitchell...the sticks belong to the Ensemble Bash, the supremely talented 4-man percussion group...an evening of gloriously ear-tickling sounds…”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.