“Europe is different, every country is different,” says violinist Adam Bałdych, “but music is a language which can bring us together, to one place.” He, Dutch pianist Rogier Telderman and French cellist Vincent Courtois combine and juxtapose their different sounds and heritages. That is the central concept behind the trio of equals that they formed two years ago. “We have three very different personalities, we each bring very different colours,” says Bałdych.
The group gave its inaugural concert at a festival which carries a strong European mission in its name: the artistic director of the ‘Sounds of Europe Festival’ which had it very first edition in Breda in Holland in February 2018 gave Dutch pianist Rogier Telderman carte blanche to form a new ensemble, and the pianist chose to invite Bałdych and Courtois. They rehearsed for a day before their festival debut.
“It was enjoyable right from the start,” remembers Rogier Telderman. Following their first concert, it was clear that all three members, each of whom normally leads ensembles in his own right, was thinking ‘we should do this more often’. And then, as they proceeded to play concerts together, the mutual respect, the mutual listening, the willingness to experiment grew: “We have brought those differences to the point where we all feel comfortable sharing, writing - and each of us writes very differently,” says Telderman, who also enjoys the challenge of working in an ensemble with such strong characters: “These are personalities who are always pushing you, following their intuition, taking you in new directions.”
This trio project, and this album, recorded over two days at La Buissonne studios in the South of France, have allowed Adam Bałdych to accentuate a particular aspect of his playing. Whereas virtuoso violinists of the past were almost condemned to play a lot of notes, the instrument makes very different demands on the modern virtuoso: “to inhabit different moods – to make each note have its own story,” explains Bałdych. On this album I wanted to play less than ever before.” That tendency towards economy of expression is clear from the very opening of the album. Bałdych’s composition “Clouds” is reflective, personal and intimate. It is a delicate sound world recalling the chamber music of Polish composers who were also violinists such as Karol Szymanowski and Grazyna Bacewicz. There is deep melancholy, but within it is a particular kind of hopefulness and optimism, a desire to move forwards and create flow. And that is an aspect of the group’s work that has appealed to critics who have heard the band live: “The music unfolded completely instinctively, over and over again,” wrote Jazznu after a concert in Tilburg.
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