CDFundación BBVA-NEOS Collection


Nikolaus Brass

Helge Slaatto, Klaus-Peter Werani, Erik Borgir, Frank Reinecke

Arts > Music and Opera

Born in 1949 in the German town of Lindau (Lake Constance), Nikolaus Brass combined a musical training with the study of medicine and law. Hence the scientific rigor that underpins his songlines, featuring on this latest CD to join the Fundación BBVA-NEOS Collection.

Reflecting on the sensations evoked in him by songlines, Norwegian violinist Helge Slaatto talks about the fascination of performing in communion with nature in its widest sense: “the nature of sensory perception, of dreams, of the subconscious”. Words which take us to the essence of this work which Brass, a student of Peter Kiesewetter and Helmut Lachenmann as well as a regular attender at the Darmstadt summer courses in the 1980s, composed between 2006 and 2007. Conceived as an individual showcase for each string instrument – the exception being one track on which violin and double bass converse – ‘songlines’ adopts the structure of a suite, fragmented into five sessions plus prologue and epilogue. A succession of evocative forms in which slow tempos dominate. Bold and vivid music full of feeling, with an air of oriental mysticism that transports the listener to a far-off land. A place where “light and shadow brush together”, in the words of Klaus-Peter Werani, who doubles as solo viola and narrator of a work which could at times be Brass’s tribute to Morton Feldman.

Performances by:
Helge Slaatto, violin
Klaus-Peter Werani, viola
Erik Borgir, violoncello
Frank Reinecke, double bass


CD Audio:

1. Prolog (01:44)
2. songlines I (12:38)
3. Intermission (02:20)
4. songlines III (23:16)
5. songlines IV (12:18)
6. songlines V (12:02)
7. Epilog (11:39)

Total time: 76:32