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Since the early twentieth century there has been a radical renewal of pedigreed chamber genres. We need only think of the late sonatas of Debussy, or of the string quartets of Bartók; or, to enter a high modernist space later in the century, of the duos and quartets of Elliott Carter; or, to move into a less prescriptive space that some like to label postmodern, of Ståle Kleiberg in our own time. In the solo and chamber works recorded here, Kleiberg recaptures something of the ethos of the private sphere. The solo works have an inward character, occluding display, while the chamber works restore the thematic sharing and instrumental characterization of the classical era, but in both cases of an informal kind, shy of system, wary of rhetoric.
Ståle Kleiberg is a major Norwegian composer with a considerable international reputation. The works on this album represent a lesser-known, but valuable, part of his output. His innovatory approach, formal command and technical mastery are especially apparent in his chamber music oeuvre, and it is gratifying to be able to present the following selection here: String Quartet No. 2, Ruf und Nachklang, Ashes, Piano Trio No. 2, Sonata for Violin and Cello and Sonanza e cadenza.