Violinist Étienne Gara and pianist Sonia Achkar, hailed for their passionate and intelligent playing, join forces on this album of French compositions that pushed the boundaries of audiences’ listening experiences at the time of their origin. In his review of Poulenc’s violin sonata, Camille Saint-Saëns describes how its unsuspecting audience was seduced: “…a magic floats above everything, encompassing the whole work, causing the crowd of usual listeners to accept the unimagined audacity as something quite normal.” Today the four pieces selected for this program are universally recognized as enduring masterworks, staples of the classical music repertoire that have retained all of their original capacity to surprise and certainly their power to seduce.
On this recording, Étienne Gara plays the magnificent 1714 Stradivarius “Leonora Jackson.” Its wonderful tone and colors make it one of the most sought after violins for performance.
The Brain and Creativity Institute’s Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall at the University of Southern California, designed by internationally renowned acoustical engineer Dr. Yasuhisa Toyota, offered the perfect atmosphere and acoustics for recording sessions.
The expertly produced surround mix (only through the Download version) envelopes the listener and amplifies the emotional impact of the performance. To avoid changing the original sound of the musicians, no compression or artificial reverb was added in postproduction.
KONTRAPUNKTUS ensemble: A Neo-Baroque Introduction (Click to buy)
Etienne Gara is the Concertmaster of the Kontrapunktus ensemble on this studio album entitled A Neo- Baroque Introduction, which was released in March, 2016. Kontrapunktus seeks to re-imagine classical music and enthrall a new generation of audiences.