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Glass Harmonica Duo from Maulbronn

Mozart Menuett aus dem Divertiment Nr. 9, KV 240; Ein deutscher Tanz, KV 567 ; Adagio für Glasharmonika in C-Dur, KV 617a
Vivaldi Winter
Grieg Smartrold ~ Der Kobold; Das Tor zur Seele
Arvo Pärt Pari Intervallo
Ennio Morricone Il Gatto

Christa Schönfeldinger
(Glasharmonika) und Gerald Schönfeldinger (Verrophon) aus der Klosterkirche Maulbronn 16.

Edition Kloster Maulbronn KuK 58 [Juni 2006; ca. 55 Minuten]

Best known probably through Mozart's sublime late Adagio, these long ignored instruments have an ethereal quality which is captivating and soothing to hear. This recital is opened and closed with texts in German, and some of the items are arranged specially by Gerald Schönfeldinger (fuller details and more illustrations on the K&K website, complete with sound samples).

Amongst the well chosen programme, it was interesting to encounter, for the second time in a week, Arvo Pärt's Pari Intervallo, one of his stronger pieces. Pärt had personally approved this arrangement, as also one for recorder quartet given by The Flautadors at the Handel House Museum in London.

It has been helpful to learn that the Schönfeldingers' two instruments differ in qualities of attack and sustain. The Glass Armonica is heard more to the left, and the Verrophone, played with fingers or mallets, more to the right. Originally violinists, this couple give audio seminars on using sound vibrations to achieve inner tranquillity and "regenerate hearing from the stress caused by the daily deluge of noise". Whether or not you're into that, this CD is highly recommendable as something different.

As usual with K&K, the recording quality and presentation is excellent, with many other photos in the booklet.

Peter Grahame Woolf