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Shaw: The Wheel

Shaw: The Wheel

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For the American composer Caroline Shaw, writing music is like ‘cooking someone you love a meal’, she told BBC Music Magazine. The youngest-ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Shaw has premiered works at Carnegie Hall and the BBC Proms.

Good food and music ‘should be nourishing and complex; they should be something that you can taste easily in the beginning before you find there’s much more underneath’. As the journalist Kate Wakeling points out: ‘This sounds much like Shaw’s own music. Her work combines immediate, sensuous appeal with taut structural rigor.’ This album is the outcome of a meeting between the composer and David Violi, Pauline Buet, and their partners from I Giardini. It presents a monograph of chamber music, including a world premiere recording, The Wheel, a dialogue between the voices of the cello and the piano.


The Pulitzer prize-winning Caroline Shaw (b.1982) has a gift for sensuous, delicate music in which a sturdy sense of form, often based on nature or architecture, is ever evident. She blends rough with smooth in a manner that manages to be challenging but enticing.

A solo piano piece, Gustave le Gray, takes Chopin’s A minor Mazurka, Op 17, as a starting point, intriguingly expanded with fresh material. Boris Kerner, for cello and eerie-sounding flower pots, pays homage to the German physicist who invented three-phase traffic theory. That description hardly does justice to the haunting music created here. The title work, The Wheel, for piano and cello, was commissioned by I Giardini. Guided by musical contours of the baroque, it turns beguilingly towards contemplation and demands attentive listening.

-- The Guardian (UK)

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Product Description:

  • Release Date: October 28, 2022

  • UPC: 3760014198816

  • Catalog Number: ALPHA881

  • Label: Alpha

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Contemporary

  • Composer: Caroline Shaw

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: I Giardini

  • Performer: David Violi, Pauline Buet