Mystery Variations on Giuseppe Colombi’s Chiacona

Discovery Club Members Save 30%!
Login or Join Today

Catalogue No: TOCC0171
EAN/UPC: 5060113441713
Release Date: 2013-01-28
Composer: Giuseppe Colombi
Artists: Anssi Karttunen

To celebrate the 50th birthday of the Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen in 2010 his wife, Muriel von Braun, and colleague and countrywoman Kaija Saariaho wrote to a number of composers with whose music Karttunen had been working, asking each to write a variation on the Chiacona per basso solo by the Italian composer Giuseppe Colombi (1635-94) — perhaps the earliest work in the history of the cello. The composers were not told who else was involved in the project, and Karttunen agreed to perform the music before he had seen it — hence the title, Mystery Variations. These 31 variations thus link the very beginning of the cello repertoire with music by some of the most distinguished composers of the present day and, with their distant echo of Beethoven's 32 'Diabelli' Variations, provide a showcase for the extraordinary resourcefulness of contemporary cello technique.

Anssi Karttunen, cello

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Chiacona (late 17th c. )
  2. Anything Goes (c. 2010)
  3. Polvo (‘Dust’) (c. 2010)
  4. Colombi Daydream (c. 2010)
  5. Chaconne (c. 2010)
  6. bLeuelein (c. 2010)
  7. Partite sopra un basso (c. 2010)
  8. Sarabande per un Coyote (c. 2010)
  9. Something to Go On (c. 2010)
  10. Ciacconetta (c. 2010)
  11. Paloma (c. 2010)
  12. Triple Antienne (c. 2010)
  13. Still and Flow (c. 2010)
  14. There and back again (c. 2010)
  15. …se sillan… (c. 2010)
  16. 50 notes en 3 Variations (c. 2010)
  17. Colombi Variation (c. 2010)
  18. Chiacona – after Colombi (c. 2010)
  19. Tiny Colombi (c. 2010)
  20. Locus on Colombi’s Chiacona (c. 2010)
  21. Arietta (after Colombi) (c. 2010)
  22. Drammatico (c. 2010)
  23. Dreaming Chaconne (c. 2010)
  24. Preludio e Ciaccona (c. 2010)
  25. Idée Fixe (c. 2010)
  26. Variation sombre e libre d’après Chiacona (c. 2010)
  27. Idulla (‘germinating’) (c. 2010)
  28. A Fancy for Anssi (c. 2010)
  29. A Variation (c. 2010)
  30. Anssimmetry (c. 2010)
  31. Duello (‘Duel’) (c. 2010)

5 reviews for Mystery Variations on Giuseppe Colombi’s Chiacona

  1. :

    ‘Vital, various and played with astonishing command of idioms, this is a beacon of new music for the solo cello.’

    —Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘Karttunen’s virtuosic ability is a pleasure to listen to, and he couldn’t have collected a more interesting and capable group of composers to write for him. […] Part of the fun of listening to the album is in identifying the ways in which each composer related to the original Colombi theme. Through examining Colombi’s chiacona through the eyes of contemporary composers, the old becomes infinitely more relevant and interesting, and the new becomes grounded in history.’

    —Marina Kifferstein, I care if you listen

  3. :

    ‘Gathered together, the miniatures make a comprehensive and enjoyable compendium of contemporary cello techniques, in pieces that may stick close to the theme, or bear little relationship to it all; however they come, though, Karttunen plays them with his usual unflappable mastery.’

    —Andrew Clements, The Guardian

  4. :

    ‘Want List for Maria Nockin [2013]

    Mystery Variations celebrates cellist Anssi Karttunen’s 50th birthday. His wife, Muriel von Braun, and composer Kaija Saariaho asked 30 composers to write variations on the oldest known piece for the cello, Giuseppe Colombi’s Chacona. Kartunnen wrote his own variation, too, so the disc has 31 diverse and fascinating variations on that tune by the cream of 21st-century composers.’

    —Maria Nockin, Fanfare Magazine, November/December 2013

  5. :

    ‘The sound on this disc is excellent and I think many of our readers will find it interesting.’

    —Maria Nockin, Fanfare Magazine, July/August 2013

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *