Esther Apituley, Rië Tanaka & Amsterdam Viola Quartet

Violent Viola - met werken van Zoltán Kodály, Paul Hindemith, Benjamin Britten, Johann Sebastian Bach, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinski, John Dowland, Esther Apituley en Henri Vieuxtemps. Esther Apituley (altviool), Rië Tanaka (piano), Amsterdams Altviool Kwartet. Challenge Classics CC 72156, 2005. Album bestellen

'I wrestle with my viola as if it was my life. It is true that the viola chose me. Not the other way round. And over time we have built up a history together. Played nearly all over the world and in the crazi- est places, on the roof of a supermarket, in the air over a desert, and in a lavatory... And so we have become so entwined with each other that you’d need a saw to separate us.

What drives my life, what sometimes becomes a battle, also drives my music, and so that too leads to conflict. To conquer that inexpressible something, to approach the essence, to create musical moments... which are indescribable. It is almost addictive, or maybe it is also a kind of mission, to want to experience those moments again and again, and share them with an audience.'

What drives my life, what sometimes becomes a battle, also drives my music, and so that too leads to conflict.

have a positive attitude. If something goes wrong, I think that it must be for a reason.
And often it’s true: the grief that filled me when my father died could change to joy because I real- ized that he had taken everything he could take from life. A man of tremendous mental strength, that is what he was. He could take pleasure in the briefest moments of existence, even just before he died and could no longer drink on his own. When he took a straw in his mouth, he bit on it or blew into it. When he finally felt a little moisture on his lips, I saw his eyes sparkle. He sighed then, and said: “ how wonderful...”, squeezed my hand, and looked at me with his little dark eyes, totally happy. - Esther Apituley

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Esther Apituley

Viola Viola - met werken van Franz Schubert, Riccardo Drigo, Henri Vieuxtemps, John Cage, Igor Stravinsky, Esther Apituley, Gabriel Fauré en Ástor Piazzolla. Esther Apituley (altviool), Rië Tanaka (piano), Eric Calmes (elektrische bas), Hans Dagelet (trompet), Amsterdams Altviool Kwartet. Challenge Classics CC 72165, 2006. Album bestellen

'In polar the regions dwells a strange animal with paws made of crystal, in the form of a tall champagne glass with a round base, a bit like the rackets people use in order to walk through deep fresh snow. These beasts are called hydropaths, and they are made of snow and ice. Their eyes resemble multi-coloured pearls. Hydropaths. ‘Hydro-‘ means ‘water’, thus rock crystal, and ‘-paths’ (‘pattes’) means ‘paws’.

I wander through distant, dazzling land- scapes of ice and snow

Hydropaths are creatures that can walk on water. On the ‘Discovery channel they have not yet heard of these beasts made of snow and ice, but in the fantasy world the impossible becomes possible.

When playing the viola I can sometimes vanish into the great void; then my bow and fingers take on a life of their own. These moments are an unusual and pre- cious blessing. After intense wrestling with the instrument I am rewarded with something I would call a temporary state of higher consciousness: I lose myself in the music, which takes me on a journey. I wander through distant, dazzling land- scapes of ice and snow. The strings of my viola cause the crystal landscape to vibrate; I shudder, shimmer and melt.
I have just become a hydropath.' - Esther Apituley

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Esther Apituley

Bach For ViolaJohann Sebastiaan Bach speelde zelf ook de altviool, maar Bach heeft geen werken voor altviool nagelaten. Na een intensieve voorbereiding, trekt Apituley zich in Spanje terug om transcripties van de suites voor cello en partita’s en suites voor viool te spelen. Het meest aangrijpende is de indringende Chaconne van de Partita voor viool nummer twee. Hierin is het verdriet van Bach voelbaar, als hij na een reis van vier maanden bij thuiskomst hoort, dat zijn vrouw is overleden. Album bestellen

'Dear Mr. Bach, I play the viola and I’m addicted to the sound of the viola and to classical music. Addicted to classical music because there are no limits, your imagination is as free as a bird.
For a long time, it’s been my heart’s desire to record on the viola the notoriously monumental closing movement of the Second Partita you wrote for solo violin – the Chaconne. After bowing my way through thousands of miles of notes, I finally worked up the courage to record the piece.

It seems you wrote the Chaconne after returning home from a long and exhausting journey on foot to discover that your beloved wife had passed away in your absence. A composition of fifteen minutes in length for a single instrument, offering great solace but making huge demands on the performer. A composition full of power and mystery.

I actually really like the fact that there are so few indications on the music, as this lets your music generate its own impulsive response at the point when you start to play it.

After bowing my way through thousands of miles of notes, I finally worked up the courage to record the piece

I embarked on my confrontation with your mystery over there, in that little chapel looking out over the Pyrenees, and I tried to record what I felt at that exact point in terms of timing, vibrato and bowing. Your notes were the only markers I had to keep myself on course.  Your music has its own heartbeat, and it can speed up or slow down all of a sudden. You take some time between the notes, or perhaps sometimes you don’t.

This freedom is a complex thing. If everything is good, then nothing is wrong. This is exactly why it’s such a delicate piece to record.
But I went on and did it – I recorded your notes – all on my own in that little chapel. And without even a recording technician. This meant I could record whenever I wanted to, even in the middle of the night. To me, this was the only way to reach the essence of how I wanted to record your music. With complete freedom.' - Esther Apituley

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