Cover Through the Night

Album info



Label: BIS

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: United Strings of Europe & Julian Azkoul

Composer: Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Maddalena Casulana (1544-1590), Daniel Kidane (1986), Carlo Gesualdo von Venosa (1566-1613), Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951), Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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FLAC 192 $ 14.50
  • Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949): Metamorphosen, TrV 290 (Arr. for String Orchestra by Éric Mouret):
  • 1Strauss: Metamorphosen, TrV 290 (Arr. for String Orchestra by Éric Mouret)25:47
  • Maddalena Casulana (1544 - 1590): Morir non può 'l mio core (Arr. for String Orchestra by Simon Parkin):
  • 2Casulana: Morir non può 'l mio core (Arr. for String Orchestra by Simon Parkin)06:37
  • Daniel Kidane (b. 1986): Be Still:
  • 3Kidane: Be Still06:35
  • Carlo Gesualdo (1566 - 1613): Tristis est anima mea (Arr. for String Orchestra by Michi Wiancko):
  • 4Gesualdo: Tristis est anima mea (Arr. for String Orchestra by Michi Wiancko)05:00
  • Arnold Schoenberg (1874 - 1951): Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Version for String Orchestra):
  • 5Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (Version for String Orchestra)29:56
  • Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695): Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626:
  • 6Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: When I Am Laid in Earth (Arr. for String Orchestra by Leopold Stokowski)03:49
  • Total Runtime01:17:44

Info for Through the Night

For their fourth release with BIS, the United Strings of Europe with their director Julian Azkoul present another innovative programme, dedicated this time to the night, a source of wonder and fascination, rich with metaphorical associations. The ensemble’s varied, tailor-made programme features counterpoint, aching dissonance and chromaticism from across a range of styles spanning nearly 500 years, from the Renaissance to the present day. The album is built around two post-romantic masterpieces: Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen (here in an arrangement by Éric Mouret), a work composed during the final months of the Second World War that evokes destruction, mourning, nostalgia, but also hope for progress and transformation, and Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, based on a poem by Richard Dehmel, which, in a nocturnal dialogue between a man and a woman, shows the power of love that can overcome the greatest challenges. These two major works are joined by arrangements for strings of vocal pieces by Maddelena Casulana, Carlo Gesualdo and Henry Purcell, as well as a new work by Daniel Kidane, Be Still, featuring percussionist Beibei Wang, a reflection on recent years marked by lockdowns during which everyday markers, such as meeting with friends and family, travelling or attending concerts vanished.

United Strings of Europe
Julian Azkoul, conductor

United Strings of Europe
The United Strings of Europe is shaped by a multi-cultural background and a drive to develop experimental and engaging programming.

Praised for our original programming and ‘virtuosically expressive’ playing (★★★★ The Times), we commission and arrange music from a variety of musical cultures and backgrounds, and perform regularly in Europe and the Middle East. Our recordings for BIS Records have been celebrated for their ‘compelling programmes’ (BBC Music Magazine) and for being ‘supremely executed’ (★★★★1/2 Stereophile Magazine). Our new album 'Renewal' out earlier this year exploring themes of loss and transformation with soprano Ruby Hughes was Editor's Choice at Presto Music and was one of Apple Music's ‘10 Albums You Must Hear’ in February.

We believe that the power of music connects, crosses divides and promotes cross-cultural understanding.

Our lockdown film 'send back the echo', a commission from composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman featuring deaf actor Vilma Jackson, explores issues around disability and social alienation. It premiered on BBC Arts and was selected for the London Film Festival. In 2022 we are producing a ground-breaking show 'Apollo Resurrected' combining music, theatre and juggling. A retelling of Stravinsky’s 'Apollo' with new music by Joanna Marsh, the show will premiere at King’s Place on 28 October before heading to Leeds in November. This year sees us give debut performances at Wilton’s Music Hall in London and the Victoria Hall in Geneva, open the Byline Festival and Festival on the Close, and hold residencies at the Southrepps Music Festival and Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival. We will release our third album with BIS Records featuring new arrangements of works by Tchaikovsky in November 2022.

We are passionate about interdisciplinary projects, reaching new audiences, and engaging with different communities in the UK, across Europe and the Middle East.

Armed with the belief that music and ensemble playing can enrich people’s lives and promote cross-cultural understanding, we are committed to reaching new audiences through education work and initiatives that engage refugees and marginalised groups. We also seek ways to explore issues relevant to these communities through our artistic work.

Julian Azkoul
has appeared in over a dozen countries as a soloist, orchestral leader, and chamber musician. Invited to lead orchestras under Daniel Barenboim and the late Sir Colin Davis, he has featured as a soloist with the Lebanese National Philharmonic Orchestra, Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra, Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra amongst others. Julian’s chamber music partners have included Walter Delahunt, Krysia Osostowicz, Ofer Falk, Joel Quarrington, Burt Wathen and Kate Whitley.

Since 2012, Julian is a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestras working with today’s most celebrated conductors and soloists. A regular guest, he leads Camerata Venia in Switzerland and has co-lead the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra and performs with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the London Symphony Orchestra. He is a founding member of Trio Cardinale (1st Prize, Intercollegiate Piano Trio Competition 2013) with pianist Florian Mitrea and cellist Alexander Rolton. In the UK, Julian has appeared at the Spitalfields, Dartington, Latitude, Easter at King’s, Aldeburgh, Cowbridge and English Music festivals.

Julian read music at King’s College, Cambridge and obtained an MA (Distinction) at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His teachers included Stéphane Tran Ngoc, Ofer Falk and Mateja Marinkovic. He pursued further study with Lieke Te Winkel of the Universität fur Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. Julian has a keen interest in Arabic music and has attended the Arabic Music Retreat in the USA on three occasions, working with masters Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba and Charbel Rouhana.

Julian leads and manages the ensemble United Strings of Europe, a flexible group of twelve string players, under the baton of Franck Fontcouberte. He recently performed Arnold’s Concerto for Two Violins with the co-leader Ariel Lang. In 2016, the ensemble performed a new Double Concerto written for Julian and pianist Walter Delahunt by American composer David Winkler in France and Switzerland. Julian plays on a Dutch violin by Max Möller made in 1927. He has been a member of Camerata Alma Viva since 2014.

Booklet for Through the Night

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