MP3 Árni Egilsson, soloist. Iceland Symph. Orch. Vladimir Ashkenazy - Nidur
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4 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Contemporary, CLASSICAL: Orchestral
NIDUR: Bass World 1994
This collection of pieces for the doublebass have been recorded and
remastered over the last 25 years and feature soloist Ami Egilsson in a
variety of settings, including concerto with orchestra, synthesizer,
electronic tape and duo with piano accompaniment. The first piece, the Nidur
Concerto for Doublebass and Orchestra, features the Iceland State Symphony
Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Ashkenazy. Composed by Thorkell
Sigurbjomsson. one of Iceland's foremost composers, Nidur is a
through-composed, tonal expose of the many timbral facets of the voice of
the doublebass, combined with beautiful orchestral backdrops that give the
soloist much room to breathe and sing. The composer integrates thematic
material between soloist and orchestra in a wide variety of ways that are
both musical and pleasing to the ear.
For his part, Arnii plays with passion, commitment, and great authority
throughout. He demonstrates a mastery of conventional string playing, as
well as instrumental techniques commonly associated with music of the
twentieth century. The Nidur concerto is one which deserves serious
consideration by anyone who concertizes on the doublebass, especially those
who might be reluctant to perform music of this century.
The next two pieces. Questfor Doublebass and Synthesiser by Egilsson and
Electronic Study II for Electronic Tape and Doublebass by Charles
Whittenberg, cast the doublebass in a more familiar setting for pieces of
recent times, the latter being the more atonal and effect-oriented of the
two. In each case, the soloist is once again persuasive and comfortable in
this idiom. Quest has a very ethereal overall sound, in some ways evoking
the great mythological voyages of Jason under the watchful eye of Neptune
himself. Electronic Studyll is more strident, but does not overwhelm the
The final selection, for doublebass and piano and again by Egilsson, is the
aptly named Steeped-ln-Pathos. Here Ami displays his most expressive side in
a piece which is emotion-filled. The singing quality of both composition and
performer is constant throughout. As evidenced by this fine recording, Ami
Egilsson exemplifies the multi-faceted musical life required of today's
bassist. Never before have the demands upon and expectations of the
double-bass been as great as they are today. Ami rises to the occasion
consistently, and seems ready to meet any musical challenge put before him.
Arnaeus Music AE214CD
Although Hollywood-based Arni Egilsson has lived abroad for 40 years he
has consistently championed the music of his native Iceland. Thorkell
Sigurbjornsson's "Nidur" recorded 'live at its world premiere in 1975 (but
re-recorded and mixed in 1988), is a challenging throughcomposed concerto
notable for its adventurous orchestration and exploitation of tonal colour.
Egilsson gives a substantially accurate account of the work, which combines
lyrical rhythmic, percussive and contemplative elements in a well developed
structure. Regrettably, some uncomfortable ensemble and insecure orchestral
playing shortly after the cadenza's remarkable collegno solo passage high in
the range results in failure to sustain with any conviction the significant
melodic material then under review. Of the two other works by Egilsson
himself "Quest" features him as player of both the (electronically altered)
bass and the synthesiser, and he produces a fascinating array of effects.
However, his more lyrical "Steeped-in-Pathos". in which he is accompanied
by the laudably free, sensuous piano playing of Randy Kerber, might with
advantage have been played in a more sustained style. American composer
Charles Whittenberg's "Electronic Study 2" for solo bass and tape
originally dates from 1962. It was revised seven years later, apparently a
year after this Houston Performance (Egilsson was then a member of the
Houston Symphony Orchestra) was recorded. Egilsson seems to have a perfect
affinity with the ever-changing web of musical activity that makes up
Whittenberg's style, and the clean precision of his playing of the angular
contoured lines is highly commendable.
RS "The Double Bassist" 1999
Won the Tchaikovsky competition in 1962 and since then has been one of the world's most celebrated pianists and has recorded extensively.
He has been active as a conductor since 1970.
Ashkenazy was appointed Principal Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic in 1987,
Became the Principal Conductor of the German Symphony Orchestra, Berlin in 1989
and the Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998.
Is one of the best known and prolific of Icelandic composers today and his catalog is both extensive and impressive.
He has been the teacher of the majority of Iceland's composers and professional musicians.
"NIDUR" is Sigurbjörnsson's first concerto for Double Bass and to this day it remains the only Icelandic bass concerto.
Is considered to be the best studio pianist in Hollywood today. His command of different genrés of music is unsurpassed. Lately he has composed film music and orchestrated for variety of top flight composers such as John Williams and James Horner.
has earned an international reputation as a Double Bass soloist, having performed in his native Iceland, and throughout Europe and the United States. He was brought to the United States by the late Sir John Barbirolli to play with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. While there, he established an enduring relationship with André Previn. A versatile instrumentalist, equally comfortable in jazz and classical venues, he has recorded a classical solo album with Vladimir Askenazy and a jazz album with Ray Brown. Egilsson is highly regarded as a leading session player in the orchestras of the Los Angeles recording studios serving as Principal Bassplayers for most of Hollywood's top composers. He has been a Professor of Double Bass at California State University, Northridge. In recent years he has become well known as a composer of works for Double Bass, Chamber Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra as well as Solo Voice and Choral works.
"NORDIC SOUNDS" September 1988 NOMUS, Denmark. .....
" the virtuousity of the soloist is never in doubt".
The Seattle Times Dec.1.1988
...The quality of playing from both soloist and orchestra is extremely
Burtlngton Standard Press","Delauan Enterprtse", "East Troy Nems", "Elkhome
Independent" globa1 News"' "sharon Reporter"' "Stevens Point Journal".
December 6th and 7th 1988
"Arni Egilsson/Double Bass (is) one of the world's premier artists."
"A rare CD, warmly recommended."
Jack Burke "The Wax Works"
International Society of Bassists Magazine. https://www.tradebit.com https://www.tradebit.comI 1988
"Each piece demonstrates the eclectic playing and compositional abilities of
"....the first piece "Nidur" (by T. Sigurbjornsson) is a beautiful rendition
of the Icelandic soundscape". "Quest" (by A. Egilsson)..features some very
wonderful and provocative synthesizer effects"
Steeped-in-Pathos- (by A. Egilsson): -This pretty ballad-like composition
offers an array of styles from simple chordal harmonies accompanying a lyric
melody to impressionistic whole tone sonorities. The fine singing style of
Ami's playing and the excellent performance of pianist Randy Kerber make
this a memorable listening experience."
David Neubert U.S.A. ......"
Steeped-in-Pathos" proves https://www.tradebit.comlsson to be a sensitive composer....."
Paul Mertens'Pavlowsky Germany
"Egilsson is a Double Bass Player of great importance. No one should neglect
obtaining his recordings".
"'Nidur': Egilsson's playing is extremely elaborate in this colorful and
well written work by Sigurbjornsson and the orchestra responds very well to
Nidur' is a work of extreme beauty....." "Egilsson is a master of the Double
https://www.tradebit.com technique is https://www.tradebit.com tone big and beautiful and he produces
unbelievable nuances. https://www.tradebit.com not least he is extremely musical and has an
innovative mind." "This is an outstanding recording of a great artist."
S. Th. Gudjonsson
"American Record Guide " U.S.A. (March/April 1989)
"Nidur" The(Double Bass) concerto has a lovely theme in the solo that is
almost Sibelian, supported by an orchestration that is congenial but betrays
its origin as a later 20th century work. After a half-dozen hearings, I have
become genuinely fond of it and its virtuoso solo writing" ... The
performance is sonically good"
"Mr. Egilsson is a formidable player."
"Fanfare" U.S.A. (Vol 12 No 3, Jan. 2 1989)
"There is precious little Icelandic music on discs, and not a great deal
meant for performance on the double bass- This CD makes an attempt to
redress matters somewhat, and with notable success. Ami Egilsson is an
excellent soloist who clearly deserves our attention, and the concerto
Thorkell Sigurbjornsson wrote for him is an attention-riveting vehicle for
the display of his talents "...the composition (Nidur) itself, from the
initial statement of its sweetly ingratiating first theme on, is worth the
price of admission by itself. Egilsson's own works provide the opportunity
for expressive statement and technical demonstration both, while the piece
by the late Charles Whittenberg reminds us of the soloist's considerable
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL (UPI) July 1989
"Thorkell Sigurbjornsson: Concerto for Double Bass"
"https://www.tradebit.comt double bass concertos really stink.
That makes it doubly nice to report that this one doesn't.
It's a neo-Romantic kind of thing, tuneful here, eerie there,
an earful of interesting sounds clear through...."
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