Quasi Parlando is an important addition to ECM's documentation of the work of Tigran Mansurian, an often breathtaking account of highly original contemporary chamber orchestra music. Issued in the wake of his 75th birthday, the album presents four works for soloists and strings, and marks the ECM debut of the Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, winner of the 2013 Gramophone Awards 'Record of the Year'. It opens with the Armenian composer's fiercely-concentrated Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and String Orchestra, and proceeds to new music performed by its dedicatees: the lyrical Romance, dedicated to Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and the intensely expressive Quasi Parlando, dedicated to German cellist Anja Lechner. Both are world premiere recordings, as is the Violin Concerto No 2, subtitled Four Serious Songs, which concludes the programme. Throughout, the soloists deliver committed performances, as does the Amsterdam Sinfonietta under the direction of Candida Thompson.
Mariss Ivars Georgs Jansons (born 14 January 1943) is a Latvian conductor, the son of conductor Arvīds Jansons and the singer Iraida Jansone.
After their highly acclaimed 2014 debut album as a duo, Moderato cantabile, Anja Lechner and François Couturier widen the scope of music even further. The duo sings in a voice of its own, be it with original compositions, free improvisations, drawing upon a Bach cantata or an Argentine folk lament or subtle inclusion of works by Henri Dutilleux, Giya Kancheli or Anouar Brahem. Having internalized influences and repertoire the German cellist and the French pianist not only locate atmospheric and expressive connections among far-flung sources, but also create new music that reflects and refracts its inspirations.