Interview with Juri Vallentin and Trio d’Iroise

10 Jun 2022

– What inspired you to record Ebenbild? And how have audiences been responding to your concerts?

The core idea of EBENBILD is to develop a classical music album as a continuous story: We use a Renaissance love poem as our thread, on which a musical narrative unfolds using repertoire from the early 17th century to the present day, with Theo Verbey’s Preludes to Infinity from 2014.

We play the program in concert exactly as on the CD: without pauses, “attacca” throughout. This creates a strong tension that is seldom experienced in a chamber music performance. The audience’s reactions were accordingly enthusiastic, because for most people it is a completely new experience. 

– For both the trio and Juri: Can you please tell us how you came upon Theo Verbey’s music?

We spent a lot of time choosing the appropriate repertoire for the stanzas of the poem. In long afternoons we tried out piles of music—and eventually the piece by Theo Verbey. It beautifully connects past and future, and also refers to Johann Sebastian Bach, another pillar of our album. We realized very quickly that we had discovered another keystone for EBENBILD.

– Juri, we hear your parents are mathematicians: when you embarked upon this project, did you know about Theo’s fondness for mathematics, especially, fractals?

We simply chose the Preludes according to the bare score, I dealt with Theo Verbey as a person later. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he was interested in fractals and similar mathematical structures. His music is full of them! That’s why it combines so perfectly with Bach’s thoroughly logical music … 

= For the trio: What was it like playing Theo’s piece, 4 Preludes to Infinity?We really enjoyed playing Theo Verbey’s quartet. What an amazing piece of music! It’s so delicately written and has a lot of depth to it. One senses that Theo Verbey had a great knowledge of the requirements of each instrument. It was a real pleasure discovering this piece. And also a lot of fun playing it for an audience, which always reacts quite euphorically.

– Were you familiar with some of Theo’s other chamber music works, like Chaconne, for instance? We already discovered and listened to it and are eager to play it in one of our concerts. Another truly interesting piece. And of course we are always curious about finding new string trios.

– And, what’s next on the horizon for all of you?

For now, playing EBENBILD a few more times. And as a trio we are already planning the next CD Project at the end of the year.

– We hope we can all look forward to attending a live performance of Juri Vallentin and Trio d’Iroise in the Netherlands soon!