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Nils Henrik Asheim

1. X1
2. Navigo - For Violin And Cello
3. X2
4. Broken Line - For String Quartet
5. X3
6. Nicht - For Voice And Ensemble
7. X4
8. Chase - For Double String Trio
9. X5

Vertavo String Quartet

+ Aida-Carmen Soanea - (viola), Louise Hopkins - cello), Isa Gericke - (soprano), Sveinung Bjelland - (piano),
Tom Ottar Andreassen - (flute), Eirik Raude - (percussion), Hans Christian Bræin - (clarinet)

Aurora ACD 5044

Nils Henrik Asheim (b. 1960) "combines a strong grip on overall form with a fascination for detail. His music is original and challenging, but alongside its underlying seriousness there is also a playful spirit at work."

The Vertavo Quartet has a special affinity for contemporary music. For the title work Broken Line Asheim requires playing techniques described in words such as 'rust, grey, stone and flame' - music that 'stops in order to present its surface, freezes, can paradoxically give a simultaneous feeling of depth'.

In Navigo each player controls the order of the various components, not knowing what the other musician is planning.In Chase this idea is pursued with a string sextet separated into two trios. In the bridging miniatures entitled x1-x5, Asheim has asked the Vertavo Quartet to incorporate an improvisatory element into the music.

Nicht has intriguing German poems winningly spoken in a quiet, confidential manner by Isa Katharina Gericke, with multilingual translations. Delightful!

Challenging and compelling music, different from all the other modernists. And delightfully presented with intriguing illustations by KariStai/Patron and design by Martin Kvamme. This disc is unique and treasurable; try to get hold of it !

Peter Grahame Woolf

The Vertavo Quartet's recording of the complete Bartók Quartets was the BBC Music Magazine "Recording of the Month" in May 2002.