Violin virtuoso Paul Giger revisits his roots with this, his second solo recording, Alpstein, which features pieces for violin, saxophone, and percussion based on the folk traditions of the Alpstein region of Switzerland. Three pieces here are entitled "Zäuerli" – named after the sad majestic "natur yodel" tradition of the Outer Rhoden region. These are sweeping and majestic with high harmonic bowstrokes. This recording features the saxophone work of Jan Garbarek and the percussion of Pierre Favre. Both add an incredible warmth to the recording on the pieces they are featured on, most notably "Alpsegen" with its soaring sax lines and manic percussion. Also notable is "Chlauseschuppel," featuring the sounds of cowbells specific to that region. Informative booklet included.
He feels at home in places we would flee from and lives his life among the very things we fear.
Paul Giger's 1993 solo release, Schattenwelt, takes a darker turn following his more volksliederisch 1991 release, Alpstein, though it is on this release that his virtuosity really shines. The delicate textures of the recording's bookends – "Bay" and "Bombay" – utilize a variety of timbres and tones, sometimes harsh, sometimes flute-like, that wash over the structure of the pieces. The centerpiece of the recording, "Seven Scenes From Labyrinthos," a retelling of the myth of the minotaur and the labyrinth, spans a variety of styles, from the shrill and dissonant "Crane" to the almost-lilting "Creating the Labyrinth." A great recording for aficionados of the violin with a sophisticated ear.
Together and separately these Swiss musicians, violinist Paul Giger and harpsichordist Marie-Louise Dähler present a symbiosis of old and new music that spans Bach, pulsating improvisation and strikingly original compositions. In all, a journey through musical and personal history which also, in “Bombay II”, reflects upon Giger’s years traveling in Asia. A sixth remarkable ECM album from Giger, a distinguished label debut for Dähler, and an important New Series release.