Shadow, Echo, Memory

Shadow, Echo, Memory


Artist: Northwestern University Cello Ensemble

Composers: , Gabriel Fauré, Michael van der Sloot, Sergei Rachmaninov, Hans Thomalla, Aaron Jay Kernis, György Ligeti, Gustav Mahler, Zachary Wadsworth

Format: 1 CD


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Shadow, Echo, Memory is a collection of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first century music arranged and written for cello ensemble. It draws its inspiration from the cello itself—that is, in the instrument’s mysterious captivating force. Many believe the power of the cello lies in the fact that its range and timbre bring to mind those of the human voice. Indeed, “Après un Rêve,” “Vocalise,””Lux Aeterna,” and “Three Lacquer Prints” are arrangements of vocal works that showcase the instrument’s dynamic and versatile voice. In Mahler’s “Adagietto” and Kernis’ “Ballad,” two songs of love that extend beyond the capabilities of the human voice, the cello shows its power to express what is inexpressible. And finally, Thomalla’s “Intermezzo” and van der Sloot’s “Shadow, Echo, Memory” both use the cello to transport the listener to an entirely new sound world; one where we come face-to-face with the haunting and disarming voice of a distant past.

All together, this varied group of compositions explores the cello’s power to sing, to express textures of light and dark, to bring to life sounds and images from another time, and to aid a listener in revisiting their own history.

The Northwestern University Cello Ensemble:
"A beast of a group" (WQXR, Q2 Music), the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble is comprised of current and former cello students at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. The group appeared on The New York Times’ Top 25 Classical Recordings of 2015, and The New Yorker’s Top 10 Classical Recordings of 2015. Follow them on Facebook.

Track List

Track List:

Zachary Wadsworth
Three Lacquer Prints
I – Temple Ceremony           1:49
II – A Year Passes    1:05
III – A Burnt Offering    2:29
Gabriel Fauré
Après Un Rêve    3:04
Michael van der Sloot
Shadow, Echo, Memory    9:43
Sergei Rachmaninov
Vocalise    7:26
Hans Thomalla
Intermezzo (from Fremd)      8:46
Aaron Jay Kernis
Ballad    8:07
György Ligeti
Lux Aeterna    8:15
Gustav Mahler
Adagietto (from Symphony No. 5)    12:25

total time    63:05

Total time: 63:05
Release date: July 29, 2016
UPC: 053479700421

Quotes & Reviews

There have been a few cello ensembles such as Conjunto Iberico who have recorded a few albums but this grouping is still relatively uncommon.

This album may change that.

Allan Cronin, New Music Buff

Here, I make a confession: Until auditioning this album, I had never before heard a cello ensemble. Indeed, I no idea what to expect from a large cello ensemble, what their tone or sound or level of expertise would be. Nor were any of my expectations very high, and the disc lay on my living-room shelf awaiting a listen for some weeks as I kept putting off what I thought might be a chore. Then I did listen.


To say that the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble exceeded my wildest expectations by a mile would be an understatement. 

John J. Puccio, Classical Candor

Shadow, Echo, Memory moves the cello choir beyond the well-worn David Popper oeuvre into more adventuresome territory

Doyle Armbrust, Q2 Music/WXQR

…the 45 cellists of the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble, one is reminded by the music not so much of floating in the air but rather of being wrapped in a warm blanket of pure sound.
— Gramophone Magazine
Beginning with a low hum, choirs of cellos — 45 cellists in the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble, directed by Hans Jørgen Jensen — gradually make their entrances, slowly blooming like a bright golden sun bursting over a mountain range.
— Tom Huizenga, Deceptive Cadence, NPR

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