Frida Kern

Frida Kern

CD 5050-08
Rachel Talitman, Harp
Pierre-Henry Xuereb, Viola
Luc Loubry, Bassoon
Mihi Kim, Flute
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Rachel Talitman

was born in Tel Aviv. After graduating the Music Academy at the Tel-Aviv University, she came to Brussels to study with Suzanne Mildonian at the Royal Conservatory of Music where she obtained the “diplôme supérieur” for harp and chamber Music with distinction. At the same time she specialised in French music with Pierre Jamet in Paris. Prize Winner of the Tenuto Virtuosity Competition in 1975, the International Harp Competition of Paris 1976 and the International Harp Competition Cazala 1977. Harp Professor at the Antwerp Royal Conservatory of Music till 1985. In 1980 she created with the bassoon player Luc Loubry the Harpeggio Ensemble, which has the aim of playing, recording and promoting the unknown repertoire of the harp, which is rich of composers and compositions that contributed to the virtuosity development and recognition of this instrument as solo and chamber music. The discography of Rachel Talitman is vast and original, covering the repertoire of the harp solo, chamber music and concertos.

Pierre Henry Xuereb

After a first Prize at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in viola class of Serge Collot, Pierre-Henri Xuereb studied in the United States, first at the Juilliard School, than at Boston University. He was one of the last students of William Primrose.

After listening to him in New.York, Pierre Boulez invited him to join the Ensemble Inter-contemporain, where he remained two years. He is now making a successful International career as a soloist and chamber musician, performing with numerous ensembles and orchestras. Regularly invited to play in various chamber music festivals. He has appeared next to musicians as Natatia Gutman, Eugène Istomin, Oleg Kagan, Gary Karr, Janos Starker, Walter Trampler. His discography is vast and varied. Pierre-Henri Xuereb teaches viola at the Paris Conservatoire, as well as in various international music academies.

Luc Loubry

was born in Antwerp, Belgium, where he studied at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music. In 1974 he obtained the Higher Diploma for chamber music and in 1975 the higher diploma for bassoon with the greatest distinction. Later he specialised with Michel Denize in Geneva and with Maurice Allard in Paris. Prize winner of the international competitions « Prague Spring » in 1974, Colmar (France) in 1976, the Brussels «Tenuto Virtuosity Competition » in 1977 and Geneva in 1980, Luc Loubry is principal bassoon of the Belgian National Orchestra. Since 1993 he is also professor for bassoon and chamber music at the Brussels Royal Music Conservatory. He plays concerts all over the world as soloist and in chamber music. He is a member of the « Avena » woodwind trio, the « Bellerophon » ensemble and the « Harpeggio » ensemble which he founded in 1980 with the harpist Rachel Talitman. His vast discography (30 titles!) covers both the solo bassoon and the chamber music repertoire as well as the bassoon concertos. Luc Loubry plays a bassoon made by Buffet-Crampon and reeds by Glotin, France.

Mihi Kim

flutist and piccolist, born in Korea where she began studying the flute. Noticed at ten years of age by Alain Marion, she continues her studies in Europe. In France and Germany she distinguishes herself taking diplomas from the best schools: Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Masters’ from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and the ‘perfectionnement’ level at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where she also earns the French national teaching diploma for her instrument. Participant in the major international competitions, she has won numerous prizes amongst which the first prize of the International Music Competition of Bayreuth in 2000; She is also a laureate of the fifth Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition in Paris in 1988. Her passion for new technologies are at the origin of the first interactive flute method for beginners, «fluting up!» and «fluting up LS», published in 6 languages. Mihi KIM now pursues a career as international soloist in Europe and Asia, and regularly gives masterclasses in France and abroad. She currently teaches at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris «Alfred Cortot» and Issy-Les-Moulineaux. She is also soloist of the Ensemble Multilatérale ( since 2005. She plays a Miyazawa type 2 platinum 900/000.

Frida Kern

Born on March 9 1891, Frida Kern (whose maiden name was Seitz) spent the first years of her life in Vienna and then in Linz, where her family settled in 1896. It was in Linz where she took her first piano lessons with pianist Anna Zappa, before she entered Linz’ Music Academy to study under August Göllerich. In 1909 she married Max Kern, a bank employee. Music, at this period was still a past-time and a form of relaxation for this young woman, rather than a profession. Yet, in 1911 she began writing music even though she did not enter the Vienna Academy until 1923, when she took Franz Schmidt’ composition and Robert Heger’s conducting classes. She later studied with Eusebius Mandyczewski and Alexander Wunderer. In 1927, she received her diplomas in both composition and conducting, after which she established a women’s orchestra with which she toured Europe and North Africa on several occasions. Her works, performed on radio concerts, gained great popularity. In 1942 she took up residence in Vienna, in whose university she taught musicology until 1945. For the next twenty years, she returned to her activity as a composer. In 1960 she received from the Austrian Republic the honorary title of Professor. She died in Linz on December 23, 1988.

Frida Kern defined her own post-romantic style as ‘neo-classical’ and ‘progressive-tonal’. During her lifetime she was a renowned composer and her works were performed often in concert. This CD reflects the richness and variety of her compositions. The Ballade for solo harp responds to a virtuoso romantic style, while the Spanischer Tanz for bassoon and harp is a nostalgic piece with Mediterranean motifs. The Theme and Variations for viola d’amore and harp marry both instruments beautifully on a singing theme that multiplies the sound effects by harmonic variations. The classical configuration for a quintet (violin, alto, violoncello, flute and harp) performs at its best when interpreting joyous and popular romantic themes. The Quintet performed here was unknown until today and deserves its place in the repertory of any classical quintet, always rich in colours: the three string instruments united and collaborating intimately with the flute’s virtuosity coupled with a beautiful cadence for the harp. The music for wind instruments has a modest place in Frida Kern’s composition only eight. Between them Impressionen Opus 19 for flute, harp, violin, alto and cello, the Spanischer Tanz Opus 24 for bassoon and harp and the 4 stücke for wind quintet Opus 25. This latest piece was written in neoclassical style which reminds us the wind quintet of Franz Danzi and Anton Reicha (end of 18 century). After a short introduction of the five protagonists, the first movement is inspired by Haydn and Mozart. In the second movement the character changes completely to Mahler’s style. The third movement is a kind of Viennese valse and optimistic Scherzo ends this quintet.

An Austrian woman composer - talented, colourful, prolific, who deserves an important place among her contemporaries. This cd is a palette of the different romantic styles which this insufficiently known, and very special, woman was keen to explore.