With little more than a piano and some minor but
highly atmospheric augmentation from a celeste
and reed organ, German-born composer Nils Frahm
spins a diaphanous and enchanting web of sound.
There are three compositions in the collection.
The first, 'Ambre' is an elegant, gently rolling piece,
whose piano part is an exquisite autumnal melody subtly
enhanced with half-heard overtones from the celeste. Magical.
The second 'Nue', after a shimmering opening we encounter
the reed organ for the first time. Its plaintive song is not unlike
an old weatherbeaten voice from the sea; the accompaniment
perhaps the sun reflecting on the turning waves.
Two thirds of the way in and the organ strikes up a half-hearted
attempt at a spirited dance. Left to its own devices it eventually
spirals away into oblivion. A perfectly constructed little drama.
The third and longest piece 'Tristana' is a laconic series of
variations for all three instruments; rising and falling so
delicately, both in tempo and dynamic structure, that its gentle
forward movement would be unlikely to lift a leaf from the ground.
The reed organ occasionally delivers a statement of deep foreboding,
like a dark cloud passing over the landscape.
A beautifully sustained vision.
'Wintermusik' is a simply stunning listening experience.