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Now II, Matthias Pintsher - for cello solo

Manuel Santapau, cello


"Now II" is the second part of a triptych of chamber pieces entitled "Profiles of Light". The first part is written for solo piano (Now I, BA 11073), the second for unaccompanied cello. The two instruments are then combined in the concluding third part, Uriel (BA 11013). All three pieces were inspired by the Abstract Expressionist paintings of the American artist Barnett Newman. Newman's work has had a formative impact on Matthias Pintscher's artistic philosophy: what does it mean to reduce things to essentials while seeking maximum immediacy of expression? Several of Newman's paintings have a radiant light of uncommon intensity, yet resembling a dark illumination. The same sort of thing is found in the late works of Franz Schubert, where a comparable profundity and retrospective yearning likewise shine through the surface of even the brightest tonalities. This is a piece about resonances, about the inward and outward givens of existence, about life itself: 'I find the cello a highly suitable instrument for depicting such existential conditions'.

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